Report: Americans driving less

Study notes millennials are driving less and the reduction trend will continue.


  • 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, making the real value of gas taxes fall as much as 74 percent. Gas taxes provide the chief source of federal transportation funds and a major source for many states.
  • Traffic congestion will be less of a problem.
  • Toll roads will be less financially viable.
  • Many highway expansion projects will start to look like wasteful boondoggles.
  • Forms of travel that are expanding in use, like public transit, will be a better investment.

"Americans are making very different transportation choices than they did in years past, and these trends are extraordinarily important to consider as we look to the future of transportation. The policy decisions being made today will shape our communities and the way people live for years to come," said Nick Turner, managing director of The Rockefeller Foundation, which funded the report.

"Given the magnitude of these trends and the implications for the future, we need to press the reset button on our transportation policy,” said Baxandall. "Public officials can’t just stay on the only course they’ve known. They need to learn from current trends to rethink whether it's worth building all those extra highway miles that were planned based on an obsolete understanding of future driving trends."

 

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