December 1, 2006
Driving Down Nationally?
One of our region's claims to fame has been a slight decline in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) per capita. In most places in our country the trendline is decidely in the other direction.
But now Reuters is reporting (via CNN) that last year (2005 vs. 2004) per capita VMT went down NATIONALLY, by about 1%.
Pundits are attributing the decline to a combination of high gas prices (apparently, there IS elasticity in demand for gas) and demographic shifts (our population continues to age, and older drivers drive less).
A small ray of hope!
December 1, 2006 8:26 AM
The market would take care of this a LOT faster if it was pay per use. Get that across to people (instead of the free ride subisidized mentality of Republicans and Democrats) and you'd see it come down MUCH faster.
Transit use however would have to go up, but also would have to operate as a real company then and make some operations profit at the least.
Scary concepts for both, people would get what they pay for. :o wow! It'd be like a religious miracle.
December 1, 2006 3:39 PM
2004 was a leap year, and unfortunately the article does not say if or how this was controlled for. Regardless, considering the high gas prices we saw in 2004, a 0.4% drop in VMT seems disappointing and is probably of no statistical significance.
December 1, 2006 3:40 PM
Whoops... Meant to say "considering the gas prices we saw in 2005..."
Preview, Wes! PREVIEW!
December 8, 2006 2:01 PM
Jim Pozey Says:
You reveal your ignorance about economics when you write a sentence as stupid as "apparently, there IS elasticity in demand for gas".
Demand is either more or less elastic. If elasticity was zero, that would mean that no matter how high the price went, there would be no decrease at all in demand.
Gas prices have gone up close to 100% over the last few years, and driving goes down by 1% - that is a very inelastic demand.