"I want complete freedom": car use and everyday mobility among the newly retired

Publisher's full text
Marianne Abramsson
Jan-Erik Hagberg

The purpose was to investigate car use among newly retired people, to explore to what extent car transport is used for everyday mobility and how it is valued in comparison to other transport modes.

The data consists of travel diaries and qualitative interviews with 24 individuals, aged between 61 and 67, living in a middle-sized Swedish city. The informants filled in a travel diary during 1 week that were analysed by VISUAL-TimePAcTS, an application for visualising and exploring activity diary data. The semi-structured qualitative interviews were analysed using a qualitative content analysis.

The car was used for several trips daily and often for short trips. The informants had a lot of everyday projects that they would not be able to perform if they did not have access to a car. The informant’s social context implies new space-time constraints. Commitments to family members, engagement in associations and spouses’ occupations affect how much and when they use the car, and their overall mobility.

In contrast to much research on older people’s mobility that has studied slightly older people, this study have focused on a specific group that are relatively healthy, well-off, and have the possibility to choose between different modes of transport. By combining travel diaries and qualitative interviews, we have explored how newly retired people reason as regard their travel behaviour but also how they actually travel.

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