Americans drive less despite easing gasoline prices
AFP - Saturday, December 13
WASHINGTON (AFP) - - Americans reduced driving by some 3.5 percent in October compared with a year ago despite easing fuel prices, the US government said Friday.
In its monthly report on traffic volume trends, the Transportation Department also said that Americans cut driving by some 160 billion kilometers (100 billion miles) between November 2007 and October 2008 than the same period a year earlier.
"Americans drove 3.5 percent less, or 8.9 billion fewer vehicle miles (14 billion kilometers) traveled, in October 2008 than October 2007," Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said in a statement.
It showed "the sharpest decline of any October since 1971," she said.
For the second month in a row, the data showed that the South Atlantic region, a bloc of eight states and Washington, DC, experienced the biggest decline of any region -- 5.0 percent fewer miles traveled compared to the previous October.
Peters also questioned the viability of a so called Highway Trust Fund, the federal government's primary source for financing highway, bridge and transit projects.
It is primarily funded through federal gas tax receipts, which dropped by three billions dollars to 31 billion dollars between October 2007 and September 2008 from a year ago.
Federal transportation spending, on the other hand, increased by two billions dollars over the same period.
"As driving decreases and vehicle fuel efficiency continues to improve, the long term viability of the Highway Trust Fund grows weaker," Peters said.
"The fact that the trend persists even as gas prices are dropping confirms that America's travel habits are fundamentally changing," she said, calling for a revamp in strategy to finance America's transportation network.
Recommend this article
Average (0 votes)
Sign in to recommend this article »
Most Recommended Stories »
Related Articles: Entertainment & Lifestyle
Former reject singer wins Britain's top TV showAFP - Sunday, December 14
Alexandra Burke wins 'X Factor' crownAFP - Sunday, December 14
Russian crowned Miss World 2008AFP - Sunday, December 14
Dubai Film Festival auction raises 1.8 mln dlrs for AIDSAFP - Sunday, December 14
Russian blonde named new Miss WorldAP - Sunday, December 14
Drivers fill up at a Fastop gas station in November 2008 in Pasadena, California. Americans reduced driving by some 3.5 percent in October compared with a year ago despite easing fuel prices, the US government said Friday.
Most Popular – Entertainment
US carmakers mull options as White House vows aid
Actress Jennifer Aniston appears naked in GQ magazine
Russia crowned Miss World 2008 in African event
Fortis bank, saved from collapse, again on shaky ground
Rich and powerful top Madoff's fraud victims: report
View Complete List »