Micheline Maynard
April 17, 2014

It’s easy to blame the economy as a reason why some people have declared their independence from their automobiles. Six years after the worst times in recent memory, a good share of the people hit by the recession still have not recovered, and as with their parents and grandparents, may never recover from the psychic impact of what roiled the country.

The changes these consumers made during the worst of the recession have become permanent parts of their lives. Even as the stock market soared in 2013 and 2014, and as some economists declared that America had recovered (statistically at least), the feeling that all could be lost at any moment still resounds in a number of corners.

Plenty of evidence supports that feeling, and the economy provides a major reason why people have cut back on driving, looking instead at other types of transportation. But when I say the economy, I don’t simply mean macroeconomic indicators.

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