Driving Trends in Context

cox-pirg.JPG

There are grains of reality, misreporting and exaggeration in the press treatment of a report on driving trends by USPIRG. The report generated the usual press reports suggesting that the millennial generation (ages 16 to 35) is driving less, moving to urban cores, and that with a decline in driving per capita, people are switching to transit. These included the usual, but not representative anecdotes about people whose lifestyles and mobility needs are sufficiently served by the severe geographical and travel time limitations of transit.

Further, in an important contribution, the USPIRG report provides driving trend forecasts that are lower than other projections. If accurate, these would result in materially greater greenhouse gas emissions reductions to 2040 than projected by the Department of Energy, further undermining the justification for anti-mobility policies as well as urban containment.

Millennials and More Urban and Walkable Living

It is again reported that millennials "like to live in the city center." Last year, a report by USPIRG cited a poll indicating that 77 percent of millennials plan to live in urban cores. Their actual choices have been radically different.

In fact, 2010 census data indicates that people between 20 and 29 years old were less inclined to live in more urban and walkable neighborhoods than their predecessors. In 2000, 19 percent of people aged 20 to 29 lived in the core municipalities of major metropolitan areas, where transit service and walkable neighborhoods are concentrated. Only 13 percent of the increase in 20 to 29-year-old population between 2000 and 2010 was in the core municipalities. By contrast, the share of the age 20 to 29 living  in the suburbs of major metropolitan areas was 45 percent, higher than the 36 percent living there in 2000 (Figure 1).

The Decline in Driving

Driving per capita in urban areas peaked in 2005. Between 2005 and 2011, driving declined seven percent. In the context of rising gasoline prices, and economic trends, the real news is not how much driving has fallen, but rather how little. A seven percent reduction is slight compared to the one and one-half times increase in gas prices over the past decade (Figure 2). Per capita travel by car and light truck has fallen back only to 2002 levels, which remained above the driving rates of previous years.

Drivers: Not Switching to Transit

The USPIRG report gives the impression that instead of driving, Americans are switching to other modes of transport, principally transit. In discussing the report, Nick Turner, of the Rockefeller Foundation said: "Americans are making very different transportation choices than they did in years past."

Actually not. The data shows that as people drove less, they did not switch to transit. The driving reduction was approximately 900 miles per capita from 2005 to 2011. At the same time, transit ridership per capita was up approximately 15 miles – a small change compared to the reduction in driving (Figure 3). People just traveled a less (perhaps fewer trips to the store or to the beach, not to mention the fewer work trips in a depressed economy).

Work trip travel trends are little changed over the past decade. Driving alone and transit were up marginally between 2000 and 2011. Working at home increased the most, while car pooling declined the most (Figure 4).

This raises the issue of context. While driving was declining about seven percent per capita from 2005 to 2011, transit use was increasing about seven percent. The percentages were similar, but the amount of travel was radically different, because of transit’s much smaller base. Transit usage would need to increase nearly 400 percent to equal the mileage of a seven percent loss in travel by car. For all of the impressive transit ridership increase claims, transit's share of urban travel has changed little (Figure 5).

Transit's failure to capture much of the decline in driving simply reflects the limitation of its effectiveness in taking people where they need to go. Transit is very effective in providing mobility to the nation's largest downtown areas, where it provides half to three quarters of the trips. Approximately 55 percent of all US transit commuting is to six transit legacy cities (municipalities), including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington. Most of this commuting is to the compact and dense downtown areas.

Outside the transit legacy cities, transit's impact is slight, because of the "last mile" problem.  Transit service is not close enough (or fast enough) to be practical for most trips in metropolitan areas. For example, Brookings Institution data indicates that the average worker can reach fewer than 10 percent of of jobs in major metropolitan areas within 45 minutes. By contrast, the average solo driver reaches work in approximately 25 minutes. There is no solving this problem, because the infrastructure that would be required is far from affordable, as Professor Jean-Claude Ziv and I showed in a WCTRS paper (See: Megacities and Affluence).

Millennial Driving in Context

Survey data does indicate a decline in driving among millennials, but those with jobs are not flocking to transit. Single occupant commuting in this age group increased between 2000 and 2011, from 66.9 percent to 69.7 percent. Transit use and working at home also increased (5.4 percent to 5.8 percent and 1.4 percent to 2.6 percent respectively. There was, however, a substantial decline in car pool use among millennials, from 17.4 percent to 12.6 percent (Figure 6).

Younger workers have suffered disproportionately from the economic decline. There has been a substantial reduction in the percentage of people aged 16 to 24 who have jobs (Figure 7). These lost work trips have contributed more than any perceived preference for urban living to the decline in driving. Transportation expert Alan Pisarski has attributed much of the decline in demand in this age group to such economic factors.

At the same time, and as USPIRG indicates, the increase in social media use may well have contributed to the declining demand for discretionary travel.

Driving Less in the Future and the GHG Emissions Implications

The decline in per capita driving is not surprising. Back in 1999, Pisarski predicted that per capita driving would soon peak ("Cars, Women and Minorities: The Democratization of Mobility in America"), because automobile availability had now spread to most all segments of society.

USPIRG forecasts driving volumes below US Department of Energy predictions. According to USPIRG:  "Coupled with improvements in fuel efficiency, reduced driving means Americans will use about half as much gasoline and other fuels in 2040 than they use today." This means an even greater reduction in GHG emissions than currently forecast. Department of Energy forecasts a 21 percent decline in total (not per mile) GHG emissions from light vehicles between 2010 and 2040, despite a 40 percent increase in driving. The more modest driving levels in USPIRG scenarios would result in GHG emissions reductions of between 31 percent and 55 percent between 2010 and 2040 (Figure 8). These projections provide further evidence that of the "greening" of the automobile and the needlessness of urban containment policies.

Reality

Regardless, however, of the future trend, it is important to minimize the time that people spend traveling in metropolitan areas, because of the strong association between effective mobility, job access, and economic growth. Modern metropolitan areas require the quickest possible access between all origins and destinations to facilitate greater household affluence (measured in discretionary income) and lower levels of poverty. The objective should be the greatest reduction in travel delay per dollar spent on transportation.

Dug Begley accurately characterized the situation in the Houston Chronicle:

"We spend a lot of transportation money in the Houston region on roads, and for good reason: That’s how most people travel. Houston is a growing place, and there aren’t two or three job centers, there are about eight. Getting people between them ... is going to take roads."

Outside the municipal boundaries of the six legacy cities and especially their downtown enclaves, Houston (despite its reputation) is little different than the rest of metropolitan America. From the suburbs of New York, to the entire Portland and Phoenix metropolitan areas, the automobile carries the overwhelming share of travel (see Table 1, here). It cannot be any other way, since no planning agency in the New World or Western Europe has a plan, much less the resources, to construct a transit system that would duplicate the mobility of the automobile throughout its metropolitan area.

Wendell Cox is a Visiting Professor, Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, Paris and the author of “War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life.

-----

Methodology: This article is based on data from the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, Census Bureau, Department of Energy and USPIRG.

Photo: Roadways, Fort Lauderdale (Miami metropolitan area)



















Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I recently found many useful

I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for sharing.
girlfriend activation system free part 2

I found that site very

I found that site very usefull and this survey is very cirious, I ' ve never seen a blog that demand a survey for this actions, very curious...
click here to read more

You’ve got some

You’ve got some interesting points in this article. I would have never considered any of these if I didn’t come across this. Thanks!.
Edward Bass Producer

This is a great inspiring

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information...
cost of girlfriend activation system

Certification methods you

Certification methods you have effectively finished a coaching course created to advise you how to fix this sector's best query and offer certified assistance for individuals who require it. Certification is an exclamation problem at the end of a significant declaration. brokeři na binární opce

Yes i am totally agreed with

Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!THANKS!!!!!!
safetyjogger

good post

Due to this being a son team who profess to love the goods made in the country, and goods made of processed sons of the nation, if not have at least a piece of baju batik modern 2015; not to admit a kind of son team who love the creations of the state. Although many other interesting things that came from the toko batik pekalongan, but rather eternal batik ranked on the quantity that can absorb the attention of the whole world. Try it you ask for in a suicide. How many toko batik senandung clothes that elo have in the closet dress you? One, two sheets, or baseball at one time. recommended if you really agan claiming to be the baju atasan batik wanita, at least you have to have a few pieces of batik. This good form of batik dresses worn, as well as the kind of baju blus batik atasan cloth. Toko Baju Batik Online kind of production results in the country, should have its own lobby at the heart of the sons of the nation. scan was very ashamed, if you did not have jual baju wanita in your closet. Eka arise at least certain moments or even that requires a person wearing a jual baju batik sarimbit couple. Today the batik is not yet on the country the products that connotation is Grandma-Grandma grandmother Carriers herbs or clothing. baju gamis batik wanita but not limited to the current era of choice. Of motifs, patterns, until assecories baju kemeja batik pria modern produced, and color options. Pekalongan batik shirt has a special character that is true. such models are quite common baju dress batik. or have a good figure. Wealth beta homeland of toko baju batik solo nothing to worry about.

more info

"Miraculously", batik owned by quite all areas of the country beta. model baju batik muslim motifs are also different in each region. Although the difference is not very flashy, model baju gamis batik wanita muslimah modern terbaru owned every region of the republic of Indonesia have different natures. The existence of Baju Kemeja Batik in Java earnest already very famous, and already quite conventional. accessories setelan batik wanita in Java, until quite popular to foreign nations. century government, batik would have become brand Java man, a real man who lives in the palace Java and beaches. blus batik atasan already spread to the entire island of Java, including Pekalongan. the presence of batik couple pasangan collection even more enriching Indonesia. Spreading into the east side of the government building typical of batik sarimbit in Mojokerto, Sidoarjo, Gresik, Surabaya, or Madura. Local government staff spread west into effect in the presence of jual baju batik wanita in Banyumas, Kebumen, Tegal, Cirebon, and Pekalongan. In Pekalongan dress batik cantik develop quite rapidly weighed in another area. The development of baju batik muslim in Pekalongan millions occur in coastal areas, a kind of Pekalongan City area, Buaran, Pekajangan, and Wonopringgo.

This is such a great

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It is the old what goes around comes around routine.
how to cure type ii diabetes naturally

This is my first time i

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work
girlfriend activation system does it really work

I’ve been searching for

I’ve been searching for some decent stuff on the subject and haven't had any luck up until this point, You just got a new biggest fan!..
best thing to say to an ex girlfriend to get her back

Hey what a brilliant post I

Hey what a brilliant post I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you.
where to buy girlfriend activation system

i read a lot of stuff and i

i read a lot of stuff and i found that the way of writing to clearifing that exactly want to say was very good so i am impressed and ilike to come again in future..
Mike Filsaime Webinar Jam Studio

very interesting post.this

very interesting post.this is my first time visit here.i found so mmany interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion..thanks for the post!
get a girlfriend after college

Most of the SEO

Most of the SEO organizations in Victoria are excellent enough for most sites.see post

There is lots of

There is lots of misunderstandings when it comes to progress your website and exchange amount as confident miracle of seo are appropriate to one company and sure others on some other websites. So there is no definite concept of it. Khuda Bhi Full Video

Great post, you have pointed

Great post, you have pointed out some excellent points, I as well believe this is a very superb website.
outillage

Awesome blog. I enjoyed

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!
trick digital photography

Great Article it its really

Great Article it its really informative and innovative keep us posted with new updates. its was really valuable. thanks a lot.
http://kvly.membercenter.worldnow.com/

We stand behind our products

We stand behind our products quality and ensure that people can use them without any worries. We even take up the concern of our customers directly to the watch manufacturers if we get any and make sure that watches of concerned people are fixed as quickly as possible.
http://7star.pk/
http://7star.pk/33_citizen-watches
http://7star.pk/new-products

Wonderful article, thanks

Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here.
http://www.slideshare.net/textyourexbackforum/text-your-ex-back-michael-fiore-pdf-ebook-review-and-download/

Awesome and interesting

Awesome and interesting article. Great things you've always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post.
how to use coconut oil on naturally curly hair

Nice post! This is a very

Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post.
memyfriends.com/how-to-get-a-hot-girlfriend-if-youre-ugly

this is really nice to

this is really nice to read..informative post is very good to read..thanks a lot!
at home remedies to get rid of belly fat

useful information on topics

useful information on topics that plenty are interested on for this wonderful post.Admiring the time and effort you put into your b!..
Dark Post Profits

Nice to read your article! I

Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences.
truck accessories dallas tx

Very interesting blog. Alot

Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.
review

Positive site, where did u

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.
best skin whitening cream

I admit, I have not been on

I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues.
https://www.rebelmouse.com/michaelfioresecretsurveyreview/

Thus the metric system did

Thus the metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the Vehicles and the people.

Real and legit products @Purchase Pinterest Followers.

You've posted an interesting

You've posted an interesting topic. Thanks for sharing this to us! Looking forward for more updates.

KINDLY CHECK THIS OUT: where to buy soundcloud downloads

That is a great contribution

That is a great contribution to that country , many of people will be happy because of the great news you shared, thanks for letting me post my comments here, i really appreciate it.

Here --->>gain twitter favorites.

First of all Good day! I

First of all Good day! I would just like to give thanks to the admin who posted this one I really appreciate it thank you.
Yeah right I totally agree with you! The report generated the usual press reports suggesting that the millennial generation (ages 16 to 35) is driving less, moving to urban cores, and that with a decline in driving per capita, people are switching to transit. Keep up the good work and Godbless! Anyway I am here to promote real video likes in instagram. Guys we are real and legit.
Be with us to, buy instagram video likes

My daughter is pure with

My daughter is pure with God’s help and like most children does not deserve this. Dear Jesus Mary and Joseph, pray for us and thanks for your faith, grace and mercy and provision. reference link

I just want to share with

I just want to share with Theresa that I have the daily meditations for practicing the course and its a wonderful book. I read it every day with my other daily readers. see post

sieuthitretho.vn

binh sua Medela , binh sua Pigeon cho tre em, cac loai bim, ta giay , hang Bobby , Huggies , bim chat luong Kotex , uy tin noi tieng Diana cho be

In the 17 decades since my

In the 17 decades since my last visit, Florida's Pinellas Nation has not much changed. It's still a low-grade rug of professional trash space everywhere, and the sides - where the value really can be found - are not very different than they were in the 90's. There's more, but not better. http://babyscream.com

Thanks for sharing this

Thanks for sharing this wonderful views in photos shown and also some of the graphics charts provided as visual aide. thru reading this awesome post of yours i laterally been educating myself its been fun and learning experience. buy real instagram followers

Carpool is often seen now a

Carpool is often seen now a days because people generally prefer single driving. Transit also was declined due to this reason. The article is very informative which explains the driving context between urban and downtown. Our natural resources are declining day by day. So, we need to save them by opting for electric cars. In future the era will be known as robot's era due to advancing technology. Audi Service Wilsonville OR

Likes greatly make

Likes greatly make improvements to the recognition of your internet site and with the suitable variety rely; lots of of us will very likely be considering your account. http://www.buyrealiglikes.com/buy-instagram-likes-cheapest The companies which offer these solutions and companies, will supply you with non-automated or robotic likes and supply you with authentic Instagram likes. The nice point associated with this is normally that they may be instantaneously delivered as part of your account which means you usually do not require to show up at that substantially. And when you are a business enterprise business, expanding your Instagram likes will probably be useful.

I simply want to tell you

I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and definitely liked this blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog.
buy facebook fan page likes cheap

Astonishing figure..I concur

Astonishing figure..I concur mode of transport is merely important in travel.But it is also important to save natural resources..

horseback riding vacation