The Recession Is Good for Something: We're All Driving Less

Posted by Morgan Clendaniel

The time drivers spend in traffic has declined for the second straight year. That has never happened before, in the history of measuring traffic, going back to 1982. Time not spent in traffic, of course, means that people are finding alternative ways to get around, and that can't be anything but good. We've seen rises in the number of people riding public transportation, and this is just confirmation of that revelation.Sadly, the consensus seems to be that as soon as people get money again, they'll go back to their hard-driving ways, because this is not actually about driving less, but rather about saving money. So, people who run public transportation system: You have a captive audience. I hope you're working on plans to make sure at least some of these people stay even once they feel they can afford driving again. You need the money; we all need them to stop driving.If you're interested, here is our visualization of another study of congestion, based on how much media one could consume while being stuck in traffic.