Driving on the Decline in 46 States, Says New Report

Americans have reduced their per-person driving miles in 46 states and Washington, DC, since the mid-1990s, says a new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund, a Boston-based research and public education -organization.

The report, “Moving Off the Road: A State-by-State Analysis of the National Decline in Driving,” states that “After 60 years of almost constant increases in the annual number of miles Americans drive, since 2004 Americans have decreased their driving per-capita for eight years in a row. Driving miles per person are down especially sharply among Millennials, America’s largest generation that will increasingly dominate national transportation trends.”

In addition, the report says that while “. . . over 87 percent of 19 year olds held drivers licenses in 1983, only 69 percent did in 2011. With Millennials the largest generation in America, their sharp decline in driving is the strongest indication of a fundamental shift.”

APTA’s upcoming Annual Meeting in Chicago includes a National Town Hall on these issues titled “Capturing the Next Generation: Strategies to keep Millennials as riders and supporters as they grow older.” The session features a panel discussion on new APTA research that illustrates why Millennials take public transportation, and it will explore strategies to encourage that they continue to take it and advocate for future investment.

Incoming APTA Chair Peter Varga, chief executive officer of The Rapid in Grand Rapids, MI, will moderate the panel, which includes Michael Connelly, vice president, planning, Chicago Transit Authority; Phineas Baxandall, senior analyst and program director for tax and budget policy, U.S. PIRG; and a DOT representative.



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