Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Overall VMT declines for 8th straight year

Factors affecting the decline in VMT: A new SSTI report 

By Chris McCahill -- SSTI has released a paper outlining factors contributing to the recent decline in American driving and the implications for transportation planning. As previously reported, per capita VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) has decreased steadily for the past eight years, resulting in a slight decrease in overall VMT during that time period. In contrast to prior fluctuations, this recent dip in VMT does not appear to be driven by economic conditions or high gas prices. Instead, researchers attribute this new trend to a culmination of decades-long growth, along with changing personal preferences.

As researchers such as Steven Polzin suggested even before the recent downturn, many of the factors that contributed to rapid increases in driving during the twentieth century have nearly reached their peak. These include the rise of women in the workforce, the baby boom, an emerging middle class, and growing automobile ownership. As these trends flatten out or decrease, so too will VMT in the coming decades.  [full article ....]

Overall VMT is on the decline, and will continue to do so as more progressive trends dictate. Visit HERE for more data, including per-capita.

Poster's note: Great news. Now we need the political will to stop this colossal waste, and instead pool these hundreds of millions in transportation dollars for road projects and retrofits that better facilitate "relying more on transit, biking, and walking".

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