The Commute

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Millennials expected to continue decline in driving

May 15th, 2013 by ed friedrich

A report by the Washington Public Interest Research Group says the number of miles driven by Americans has declined for eight years, and is expected to continue in that direction with the Millennial Generation getting behind the wheel. Governments, however, haven’t recognized the trend and continue to want to spend more on highways, it says.

Miles driver per capita peaked in 2004, and the total number of miles driver by Americans tapped out in 2007.

The Millennial Generation of 16- to 34-year-olds drove 22 percent fewer miles on average in 2009 than in 2001, the greatest decline of any age group. Millennials are more likely to want to live in urban and walkable neighborhoods and are more open to non-driving options than older Americans, the study says.

Baby Boomer driving shot up in the second half of the 20th century with low gas prices, growth of suburbs and increase in women commuters. Now the trend is receding. Driving won’t ever regain its 2007 peak, but government planners aren’t responding, the study says. They overestimate vehicle travel to justify spending on new and expanded highways.

The trend to less driving combined with better fuel efficiency means Americans will use about half as much gas and other fuels in 2040 as they do today, resulting in a 74 percent drop in gas taxes.

You can see the whole report here.

One Response to “Millennials expected to continue decline in driving”

  1. Cha Ching Says:

    I have been encouraging my teens to pursue a car free life style. A life dependent on an automobile has its negative costs and with increasing traffic, tolls and automated infraction cameras and revenue hungry law enforcement, choosing to live car free can be positive. You have to also really look at the true cost of owning a car and compare that to getting around by bicycle, not only money but time.
    Personally I have made changes like move closer to town in order to ride my bike instead of drive everywhere. We took a family vacation across country and took the train. Just little things like that but it is hard because of my old school mentality combined with a country that was built around the automobile.
    For my kids I worry most about them growing up into this increasing Orwellian 1984 world. In the past three years of reading the KS I have seen some major strides in that direction, including the talk of building a school like a prison out in Belfair (in the name of fear and security) It has been interesting to read this paper, like a real life distopia novel of sorts. I feel like this paper is biased and is the official mouth piece for the local Leaders. I feel like this move to require people to pay to comment is really just a form of censorship. I think your readership is going to see a major decline because I bet the vast majority of your traffic was here to read the comment sections.