There’s been some discussion over the last few years about how driving habits are changing nationally. I’ve seen at least a few reports suggesting that overall driving is actually on the decline and has been for some time. This even while the population of the US continues to rise. A new report has come out detailing the changing habits of cities. Here is how Columbus and other Ohio cities fared.
Percent Change in Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled from 2006-2011
Columbus saw the largest drop in vehicle miles traveled, indicating that people there are driving less. Northeast Ohio all saw increases, which goes against the national trend. Toledo and Cincinnati did not have comparable numbers.
Percent Change in Per-Capita Passenger Miles Traveled on Mass Transit 2005-2010
Columbus was the only city to see an increase in its mass transit miles. Cleveland, Cincinnati saw drops of more than 1/3rd.
Change in the Proportion of Workers who Commuted by Car, 2000-2011
All 7 saw declines.
Change in the Proportion of Workers who Biked to Work, 2000-2011
Columbus saw the largest increase of all 7, although the actual changes are all small. No city measured in the US saw a change of more than +1.7%. The majority of cities were less than 0.3%.
Change in the Proportion of Workers Who Worked From Home, 2000-2011
Columbus again leads, though all cities saw increases.
Total Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled in 2006
Total Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled in 2011
Total Per-Capita Mass-Transit Miles Traveled in 2005
Total Per-Capita Mass-Transit Miles Traveled in 2010
% of Workers who Traveled by Car, 2011
National Rank (of 100 cities) in the % Change for those who Biked to Work, 2000-2011
% Change of Households with No Vehicle, 2006-2011
% Change of Households with 2+ Vehicles, 2006-2011
So what does all this data tell us? Well, for the most part, all Ohio cities are seeing car use decline in some way or another. Columbus performs strongly in car use declines and increases in at-home workers and increases in bike commuting. Mass-transit was where it performed the weakest, where it’s middle of the pack. Yet even there, it saw increases in its use.
Full study link: http://uspirg.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/US_Transp_trans_scrn.pdf