.Sections

.Front Page

.News

.Student Life

.Calendar

.Science & Environment

.Arts & Entertainment

.Etcetera

.Business

.Opinion

.Outdoor Living

.People & Places

.Women's Life

.Military Matters

.Lifestyles

.Sports

 

.Archives

.About Us

 

 

 

by Kerstin Kent, staff writer
 

Fewer and fewer miles are being traveled every year, acording to the U.S. Department of Transportation. From Dec. 2007 to Dec. 2008, 3.7 billion fewer vehicle-miles were traveled, a 1.6 percent decrease. This is the second consecutive year the nation’s driving has continued to fall.
The western states, especially Oregon and Washington have experienced the biggest decline, Oregon with 14.7 percent decrease and Washington with 11.1 percent. Although an unusually large amount of snowfall contributed to the decrease in vehicle-miles traveled, the West as a whole had a 4.8 percent decrease in vehicle-miles traveled in the past year.
Traffic volume trends are based on hourly traffic count data collected at about 4,000 continuous traffic counting locations by the states. These are used to estimate the percent change, and the estimates are continually being updated with new data.
The Department of Transportation said figures from March 2008 show the steepest decrease in driving ever recorded, and as a result, the use of public transportation increased. Americans took more than 10 billion trips on public transportation in 2008, according to the American Public Transportation Association.
There are many possible reasons for the decrease in driving, but transportation officials believe the most likely is the fact that gas prices were at an all-time high during 2008. According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas rose to a record $3.94, compared to an average price per gallon of $3.23 on Memorial Day of 2007.
Marisa Mazza, an HPU freshman, said she drove less because of the sharp increase in gas prices. “I take the bus out here more often too. It’s easier and less expensive,” she added.
According to AAA, for the first time since 2002, Americans said they were planning to drive less over the Memorial Day weekend than they did the year before.
However, on Feb. 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This economic stimulus legislation will provide $789 billion dollars in spending and tax relief, and $8.4 billion of those dollars are to be an investment for public transportation. How this will affect America’s driving habits remains to be seen.

 

 

Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Web site designed by Robin Hansson.and maintained by Angela Sorace

Web Counter

Untitled Document