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In the United Kingdom, people without a car make 40% fewer trips than their car-owning counterparts

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It is no surprise that car owners tend to travel more, compared to car-free residents, but the UK’s newest National Travel Survey data shows just how large the discrepancy is: People in households with a car make an average of 1004 trips per year, but those without only make 716. The latter group doesn’t just travel less, their trips are shorter, too, averaging 4 miles per trip rather than the 7.3 miles traveled by households owning a car. 

Notably, the percent of household car ownership is not the same across income levels: Families with the lowest income are the most likely to have no access to a car (over 40%). As a result, they make nearly 20% fewer trips and travel 40% less distance than the average household. For these 17 million car-free households, more convenient and affordable public transport will ensure access to employment, education, health care, and community life. 

In rural and urban settings alike, flexible demand-responsive transport (DRT) services have a specific role to play in helping people move about as conveniently as with a private car, but more affordably and with less environmental impact. For example, the Tees Flex bus service is a DRT service set up to connect isolated rural communities to essential services and critical job opportunities; it helps residents make an additional ~1,000 trips per week without relying on a private car. 

In Milton Keynes, a denser, more urban environment in which 20% of residents do not own a car, DRT service fills the gaps between existing public transport with an on-demand option that facilitates affordable connections. See how new approaches to transport in the UK can boost social equality