Robert Puentes is a Senior Fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institute. He is an expert on transportation and infrastructure, urban planning, growth management, suburban issues and housing. His research focuses on the broad array of policies and issues related to metropolitan growth and development. He was recently a guest speaker at Boise State University.
In December 2008, along with co-author Adie Tomar, he published a report of U.S. driving patterns titled: ‘The Road…Less Traveled: An Analysis of Vehicle Miles Traveled Trends in the U.S.' as part of the Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative Seriespublications from the Brookings Institute. According to the authors:
While all transportation modes have received their fair share of media attention, this report focuses on the VMT trends in detail. VMT is a pervasive measure used in transportation revenue, for both funding allocation formulas and planning and finance. With driving on the decline, the overall travel patterns will have profound impacts on how this nation pays for transportation and plans for future infrastructure needs. Furthermore, how much, where, and what we drive affects our energy consumption, carbon emissions, and land use patterns. Thus, VMT patterns inform the potential solutions to our national environmental and energy challenges.
This brief employs the latest federal data to construct a thorough picture of VMT patterns across the country, including roadway, vehicle, state, and metropolitan comparisons. It is intended to provide policymakers with a better understanding of American drivers’ behavior—what roadways they use, what vehicles they use, and where they travel the most.
This report presents an interesting analysis of American driving behavior and how it is evolving over time. Click here to download the full report.