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Old 07-24-2015, 01:20 PM
 
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Latest VMT chart.

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Old 07-24-2015, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,062 posts, read 16,081,530 times
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Cheaper gas, better economy, America on the move again. I feel it in traffic in the Bay Area for sure although it really started in the Bay Area more like in 2013 rather than '14. Local economy improved a lot faster than overall. Probably similar in Texas as well.
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Cheaper gas, better economy, America on the move again.
At least here in South Florida, many of these guys are having to commute between multiple jobs across town just to support themselves, which increases congestion per capita, and especially, increases congestion during traditional off-peak hours. Pretty much off-peak isn't until after 8 pm, and also before 11 AM on weekends. Perhaps increasing vehicle miles traveled is not necessarily more people getting cars and driving, but it's also people being forced to drive more between part time jobs. The very people who can least afford the additional transportation costs. Not so sure this is "better" for those who are stuck in the rut, but it is probably the reality of the new economy, at least until we adopt living wage standards and invest in mass transit here in the US. Uber surely also contributes to this too--despite it officially being illegal, there are at least twice as many Uber cars as actual official taxis here in the Miami area, and without Uber many couldn't afford having their cars to make the commutes to multiple jobs, and/or the second family car.

BTW with the increase in driving, toll revenue is booming, you'd think for one of the largest and fastest growing US metros we'd put some of that money in to mass transit (and making Uber legal with a mass transit surcharge), but nope, it's just not happening, people here think it's the 1980's and that we need new highways out in to the Everglades...
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:00 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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With more than one person going, like on vacations, it can save a lot of money to drive rather than fly. If going 1,000 miles or less and the route is at all scenic, the road trip can be fun. We make such trips often now since gas prices have gotten lower, and normally take two days at 7-8 hours each with a nice motel overnight. We also have tolled bridges here, and "hot lanes" where you pay to use a specific lane, variable cost, higher when traffic is heavy. The funds are used to replace existing infrastructure, but it's still not enough so our gas tax is going up another 7 cents.
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:44 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,048 times
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Originally Posted by impala096 View Post
Latest VMT chart.

Granted it is from the St. Louis Fed, and due the highest respect, but it is really misleading. It looks like a significant change, but it isn't actually a huge change taken historically. And this is within the context of an improving economy while the largest generation in US history is at peak driving age. And this includes a lot of people driving much further to and from the suburbs and to multiple jobs. If VMT was keeping up with historical trends, it should be much, much higher. Context demands that a whole lot of miles are "missing."
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Old 11-13-2015, 02:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Gas prices are going to continue yo-yoing for a long time but the general trend is up - and it's going to keep the economy unstable for as long as we're wholly dependent on it.

Oil prices have gone down so some wells have been shut down, other smaller operators have sold out to bigger oil interests because they can't afford to stay in business and those bigger oil companies are just sitting on those wells, some refiners have decided that since prices are so low now is a good time to shut down and perform scheduled maintenance.

As soon as summer demand picks up oil prices are going right back up - maybe not as high as they once were - but still up. I seriously doubt a VMT record and certainly not per capita.
Are you still certain there won't be a VMT per capita record in the future? VMT has risen 4.4% YOY. That's a big rise considering population only rose 0.75%. This is with an average GDP of only 2.2% (going back to the 2nd quarter of 2009). Imagine what the VMT rate would be if GDP was closer to 4%.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impala096 View Post
Are you still certain there won't be a VMT per capita record in the future? VMT has risen 4.4% YOY. That's a big rise considering population only rose 0.75%. This is with an average GDP of only 2.2% (going back to the 2nd quarter of 2009). Imagine what the VMT rate would be if GDP was closer to 4%.
You're looking at the wrong population change. What matters is change in population over 16, and especially 24-40, the peak driving ages due to familial and employment obligations. If VMT were keeping up with historical rates, at least for Baby Boomers and Gen X, then it should be higher than it is. But it hasn't, and it hasn't since prior to the Great Recession, and it hasn't even as the economy has improved, even as unemployment has fallen, and even after the price for a barrel of gas collapsed.

Maybe it comes back, but the current generation of teens faces an ever increasing CoL, higher college tuition, and an increasing preponderance of alternatives--mobile devices, Uber, delivery services, biking--to keep them mobile and/or entertained. It just looks unlikely that VMT is going to come roaring back, and numbers have failed to provide evidence of a serious spike or comeback.
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:43 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
You're looking at the wrong population change. What matters is change in population over 16, and especially 24-40, the peak driving ages due to familial and employment obligations. If VMT were keeping up with historical rates, at least for Baby Boomers and Gen X, then it should be higher than it is. But it hasn't, and it hasn't since prior to the Great Recession, and it hasn't even as the economy has improved, even as unemployment has fallen, and even after the price for a barrel of gas collapsed.

Maybe it comes back, but the current generation of teens faces an ever increasing CoL, higher college tuition, and an increasing preponderance of alternatives--mobile devices, Uber, delivery services, biking--to keep them mobile and/or entertained. It just looks unlikely that VMT is going to come roaring back, and numbers have failed to provide evidence of a serious spike or comeback.
But then those teens become young adults, and when they marry and start to have kids, buy an SUV with room for a couple of child car seats. They are also moving to the suburbs for more safety and better schools, and longer commutes go along with that. Because they are waiting longer to get married now, the lower rate of drivers is lasting longer than ever, but eventually it will start to catch up.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:10 AM
 
1,998 posts, read 2,933,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
But then those teens become young adults, and when they marry and start to have kids, buy an SUV with room for a couple of child car seats. They are also moving to the suburbs for more safety and better schools, and longer commutes go along with that. Because they are waiting longer to get married now, the lower rate of drivers is lasting longer than ever, but eventually it will start to catch up.
Except the trend is that fewer and fewer people in America are choosing to have kids, so it's not clear if the rate will catch up as fast as it would in the past when more people started families.
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Old 11-16-2015, 01:20 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
But then those teens become young adults, and when they marry and start to have kids, buy an SUV with room for a couple of child car seats. They are also moving to the suburbs for more safety and better schools, and longer commutes go along with that. Because they are waiting longer to get married now, the lower rate of drivers is lasting longer than ever, but eventually it will start to catch up.
The "it'll catch up" argument has been bouncing around in different forms since the turn of the millennium. "Once gas prices slow down..." "Once the economy rebounds..." "Once Millennials start to have kids..." But gas is now, and has been, cheaper than the historical average. The economy is adding lots of jobs now. Millennials are having fewer babies per couple, and fewer couples are having children. The VMTs that DOTs have been projecting have been overestimations, sometime wildly so.

And why does it HAVE to catch up? Why is it so necessary that VMT/capita should match past levels? That's what frustrates me about this argument, that, in spite of evidence to the contrary and no reasonable need for a high VMT/capita, individuals keep insisting it'll "catch up."
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