In April 2012, Frontier Group issued Transportation and the New Generation, documenting the decline in driving among young people. This is the first in what will be a series of blog posts providing updated information about changing transportation trends.
The Federal Highway Administration is out with new numbers on vehicle travel in February. The headline figure is that vehicle travel increased by 1.8% from February 2011, marking the third consecutive month of year-over-year increases.
The really interesting numbers, however, are buried within the report. Starting in January, he FHWA has significantly revised its figures for the last several years, meaning that the decline in driving in 2009-11 was even steeper than it appeared to be at the time.
The overall picture, then, remains one of an historically significant decline in driving. The rolling 12-month total for vehicle travel remains below the level of the period ending June 2004, meaning that Americans today are driving roughly the same number of miles we did seven and a half years ago. The rolling 12-month total is also 3.3% below the peak it reached in the period ending November 2007.
Associate Director and Senior Policy Analyst, Frontier Group
Tony Dutzik is associate director and senior policy analyst with Frontier Group. His research and ideas on climate, energy and transportation policy have helped shape public policy debates across the U.S., and have earned coverage in media outlets from the New York Times to National Public Radio. A former journalist, Tony lives and works in Boston.