For the Ninth Month in a Row, US Motorists Drove Less ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: For the Ninth Month in a Row, US Motorists Drove Less

Friday, October 03, 2008

For the Ninth Month in a Row, US Motorists Drove Less

For the ninth month in a row, US motorists drove less than they did a year ago. High gas prices are blamed for the change in behavior.

July travel, which includes the normally heavy Fourth of July and vacation travel dropped 3.6 percent from a year ago. June had seen a drop of 5%.

"The decline means Americans are consuming less fuel and emitting less CO2 (tailpipe emissions), which is a positive development," Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said in an interview with Reuters. "But it is a challenge to how we fund transportation today."

Of course, there has been a marked rise in transit use. But the government continues to worry about the drop in travel. With people traveling less, the revenue from gasoline taxes has also decreased. Recent figures show an increase in fuel economy for vehicles, adding to Transportation Dept. worries about declining revenue.

Gas prices for September were nearly 50 cents lower at $3.63. (As an aside: I was shocked by seeing gas at under $3.40 at a local station. Then I was upset by how excited I was to see such a 'low' price.)

The last time the government noted such a huge decline in petroleum demand was back in the 70's.

Secretary Peters is using the declining miles and increasing mileage, including the mandated increase in mileage via the new CAFE standards, to push for a new revenue model in Congress.

Source: U.S. driving drops for 9th straight month | Reuters

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