Accessibility in rural Austrian areas is more restricted than in urban regions. Limited accessibility leads to social exclusion. Therefore, mobility should be inclusive, allowing everyone to satisfy mobility needs and reach destinations. Mobility should also be environmentally friendly. Use of a private car offers opportunities for comprehensive mobility but is related with high individual, social, and environmental costs. We studied the interplay between employment, care, and mobility variables among people in the foothills of the European Alps in Lower Austria who are employed and have care responsibilities, assuming them to be a group with complex mobility needs and high vulnerability. The aim was to derive policy recommendations to decrease their car dependency and ensure accessibility. Adopting a mixed methods approach, we conducted a tailored quantitative and qualitative survey, using cluster analysis to derive relevant patterns. Within the group under analysis, 5 subgroups were identified: persons in 2 clusters worked more and cared less, with significant differences in commuting distances. Persons of 2 further clusters cared more and worked less, with one group caring for very young children, and the other working and caring a lot. Persons in the fifth cluster cared for elderly people, had low caring duties, and almost no pickup/drop-off trips; almost all had full-time jobs. Significant gender differences existed in the identified activity patterns. Results showed that responsibility for care is still mainly with women, even if they are increasingly seeking employment. Recommendations in 3 major fields of action were derived, comprising: measures to support the mobility of persons responsible for care, measures to support the autonomy of cared persons' mobility, and measures to reduce the mobility needs of both groups. Even if respondents are satisfied with how they manage their care tasks and employment by car, higher shares of walking, cycling, and public transport seem to be necessary and feasible.
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