The Economist came out with a great report on why demographic trends mean that "peak driving" is likely here to stay in the US. Per capita vehicle miles driven peaked in 2007 at something over 28 miles per day. Even with 12 straight quarters of economic growth, driving per capita has stayed below that high-water mark. Young people are driving significantly less than they did a generation ago (see graph above, spotted on Streetsblog). The generation that came of age in the 1950s and early 1960s, which drove more than any other, is now in retirement age. They are taking shorter trips and are being replaced by Millennials who prefer to live in the city, take transit, and walk. Rising gasoline prices — up six times the rate of inflation since 1998 — are also a factor.
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