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Americans are driving less: the state-by-state story

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Per capita rates of vehicle miles traveled have fallen, and the recession is not the only reason. A U.S. PIRG report examines the end of the "driving boom."

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Americans are driving less: the state-by-state story

  1. 1. Americans are driving less: the state-by-state story 9/24/2013
  2. 2. Percent change in VMT by state, 2005-2011 9/24/2013 2Source: U.S. PIRG
  3. 3. Annual vehicle-miles traveled per capita, 2011 9/24/2013 3Source: U.S. PIRG
  4. 4. Percent of Urban Population and VMT by State 9/24/2013 4Source: U.S. PIRG As urban density increases, VMT tends to decrease.
  5. 5. VMT Per Capita Decline by State, in West 9/24/2013 5 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% 20% Percent decline in vehicle miles traveled per person since peak year Percent decline in vehicle miles traveled per person since peak year Source: U.S. PIRG Among states in the West, the average year in which VMT peaked was 2002.
  6. 6. Traffic Volume Trends by Region 9/24/2013 6 West 57.4 1.1% North Central 59.6 -1.5% Northeast 36.8 -1.3% South Atlantic 53.0 -1.3% South Gulf 51.4 0.2% Figures indicate VMT (in billions) by region. Percentages show change in traffic between June 2012 and June 2013. Source: U.S. Department of Transportation
  7. 7. Gross Domestic Product and Per Capita Driving 9/24/2013 7Source: FHWA; Bureau of Economic Analysis; Census Bureau. GDP and the volume of driving moved together during the Driving Boom, before diverging around the year 2000.
  8. 8. Scenarios of Future Vehicle Miles Traveled 9/24/2013 8 “Conditions and Performance,” U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 2010. “Paving Our Way,” National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Committee, 2009 . “Annual Energy Outlook 2013,” U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2012. “Back to the Future” Scenario: driving will revert to peak levels and grow with population. Actual Vehicle Miles Traveled “Enduring Shift” Scenario: the reduction in driving will be sustained, as today’s driving habits continue into the future. “Ongoing Decline” Scenario: the recent decline in driving is the beginning of a deeper change in transportation patterns. U.S. Government Forecasts of Future Driving Patterns U.S. PIRG Three Scenarios of Future Driving Source: U.S. PIRG VehicleMilesTraveled(Millions) Forecasts from the U.S. government project a continued increase in VMT, whereas scenario analysis from the U.S. PIRG predict lower rates in VMT.
  9. 9. ecowest.org Download more slides and other resources 9/24/2013 9

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