Young people turning away from cars

There has been a substantial decrease in the percentage of young people who possess a driver’s license. The ubiquity of social media may be a cause of this decline in VMT. Young people are also showing a preference for urban living and its better access to transit, walking, and biking. Many young people simply may be unable to afford the high cost of owning and maintaining a car. This decline has led to car companies overhauling their marketing and design strategies in an attempt to win back market share among youth.

Transit ridership continues upward trend in 2011

According to new figures from APTA, 2011 transit ridership is at the second highest level since 1957, only higher in 2008, when gas topped four dollars per gallon. An improving economy, rising gas prices, and easy access to transit information via mobile apps are credited as three reasons for the continued rise in transit use. Ridership grew in large, medium and small communities, showing strong support for transit.

Comprehensive Evaluation of Transport Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Policies (Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 2012)

Transportation strategies that reduce emissions and conserve energy and grouped into either “cleaner vehicles” or “mobility management” (VMT reduction and demand management.) This report examines the cost effectiveness of these two strategies. Download full report.

Comprehensive Evaluation of Transport Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Policies (Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 2012)

Transportation strategies that reduce emissions and conserve energy and grouped into either “cleaner vehicles” or “mobility management” (VMT reduction and demand management.) This report examines the cost effectiveness of these two strategies. Download full report.

Off-street parking access linked to higher VMT

When it comes to parking in new residential developments, planners often face stakeholders with two opposing positions. Some want land-use authorities to require lots of off-street parking in order to avoid over-demand for street spots. Others complain that all that off-street parking will just induce more traffic; if authorities require anything, they should set parking maximums, not minimums. A new study by Rachel Weinberger of the University of Pennsylvania provides evidence for the latter view.

Motor vehicle travel demand continues long-term downward trend in 2011

Despite an improving economy, motor vehicle travel declined markedly in 2011, continuing a downward trend with major implications both for infrastructure revenue and infrastructure needs.
Total VMT fell 1.2 percent from 2010, to its lowest level since 2003.
More striking, per capita VMT was down for the sixth out of the last seven years, dropping to 1998 levels. Per capita VMT dropped 2.1 percent from 2010.
A PDF version of the February 20, 2012 SSTI analysis of VMT trends is available for download.

The Case for Moderate Growth in Vehicle Miles of Travel: A Critical Juncture in U.S. Travel Behavior Trends (Center for Urban Transportation Research, 2006)

Prepared for the USDOT, this report hypothesizes that the United States has reached a critical juncture in terms of national mobility trends and underlying socio-demographic conditions and travel behavior that will result in more moderate rates of annual vehicle miles of travel (VMT) growth in the future. However, slower VMT growth may not portend lower rates of congestion growth.