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Fewer People Can Afford New Cars – Is That Necessarily Bad?

As discussed here, the widening divide between rich and poor has meant that new cars are unaffordable for an ever-increasing segment of the American population. At the risk of sounding like Marie Antoinette with her fatal “let them eat cake” remark, new car ownership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, I’m among the growing number who believes that car ownership is destined soon to become an outdated extravagance that a growing number of people, especially young folks, are beginning to question seriously.

As my friend and transportation visionary Dan Sturges likes to say, “Car ownership costs the average family about $40 per day — a figure that most of us grossly under-estimate. I only wish there were a ‘car guy’ who came around every day, seven days a week, to each of these families, knocked on the door, and said, ‘Car Guy. $40 please.’ Most of us would soon start to ask about alternatives: car sharing, mass transit, ride sharing, small commuter cars, etc.”

In my estimation, this is exactly where transportation is going: a complete paradigm shift in the direction of a cleaner planet and a more affordable way of life.