Travel Demand

August 27, 2016, 9am PDT
U.S. vehicle travel increased 3.2% (8.6 billion vehicle miles) in total and 2.0% per capita between Junes 2015 and 2016. That is a new peak in total VMT, but a 2.75% reduction in per capita VMT. Will these growth rates continue into the future?
Peak Car Revisited
October 16, 2014, 5am PDT
A new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and Frontier Group shows mounting evidence that the Millennial generation’s dramatic shift away from driving is more than temporary. Planning must change to accommodate these demands.
Millennials in Motion: Changing Travel Habits of Young Americans and the Implications for Public Policy
July 27, 2014, 7am PDT
A new RAND Corporation study models motorization growth rates and saturation levels, and identifies potential policies to encourage more efficient transportation in developing countries.
The Future of Driving in Developing Countries
Blog post
May 8, 2014, 5am PDT
The “Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions and Performance, Report To Congress” is intended to provide a comprehensive and objective evaluation of our transportation system. Let’s evaluate this evaluation.
Todd Litman
March 11, 2014, 5am PDT
The USDOT's "Conditions & Performance Report" predicts that VMT will grow between 1.36% and 1.85%, although current demographic and economic trends have resulted in flat or negative growth in recent years. Why won't they learn?
State Smart Transportation Initiative
February 5, 2014, 1pm PST
Demographic and economic trends, and improving transport options, including more carsharing services, are contributing to a long-term decline in automobile ownership and use.
The Wall Street Journal
Blog post
August 22, 2010, 6pm PDT

The graph below shows the most recent USDOT vehicle-travel data covering the last 25 years. Although vehicle-miles of travel (VMT) grew steadily during most of the Twentieth Century, in recent years the growth rate stopped and even declined a little. It is now about 10% below where it would have been had past trends continued.

US VMT Trends

Todd Litman
Blog post
April 12, 2009, 3pm PDT

Politicians and planners be warned: you will now be judged according to your ability to improve walking, cycling and public transit services.  

Todd Litman