Despite a stronger economy and more people living in the United States, Americans drove a billion fewer miles in July 2012 than a decade early. The trend of fewer people driving, and existing drivers driving less started in 2004 and has yet to let up. Should trends continue, Americans may be driving a trillion fewer miles annually by 2025. More from Streetsblog:
There are good reasons to believe the current slowdown in driving may persist. A report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in April showed that youth are leading the trend toward less driving. While the National Household Travel Survey only allows comparison of driving in 2001 and 2009, it shows that Americans aged 16 to 34 reduced their driving miles by 23 percent between those years. Meanwhile, youth are increasing their use of public transit, biking and walking faster than the general population. Changing patterns in the use of information technology and changing preferences for urban living may be major factors in these shifts.