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VMT AND ITS CAUSES? Alan E. Pisarski HERITAGE FOUNDATION 10/21/14.

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Presentation on theme: "VMT AND ITS CAUSES? Alan E. Pisarski HERITAGE FOUNDATION 10/21/14."— Presentation transcript:

1 VMT AND ITS CAUSES? Alan E. Pisarski HERITAGE FOUNDATION 10/21/14

2 The long term trend is a declining VMT growth rate – baby boom, worker boom, car boom of the 60’s-90’s is over. 60 year av annual VMT growth Aging pop is a key

3 THE BOOMER PERIOD BABY BOOMERS JOINING THE WORK FORCE AND WOMEN ESPECIALLY IN EXTRAORDINARY NUMBERS. WOMEN > MEN IN MILLIONS OF NEW WORKERS IN THE ENTIRE PERIOD ADDED WORKERS WERE MORE LIKE THE 60’S OR 70’S THAN THE 90’S WAS THE FIRST TIME SINCE DECADE WHERE % INCREASE IN POPULATION EXCEEDED % INCREASE IN WORKERS.

4 SOME POSITIVE SIGNS IS IT CYCLICAL OR STRUCTURAL? = a long slow miserable economic recovery or a new normal? THE RANGE AROUND 3 TRILLION VMT FROM 2004 TO 2014 IS REALLY MINOR = 1-1½% SHIFTS MAY AND JUNE UP 1.4% IF WE FINISH THE YEAR AT THAT RATE TOTAL VMT WILL BE BACK TO HIGH OF 2007 – NOT LIKELY EXPECTED GROWTH RATES OUT TO THE FUTURE WITHOUT AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES circa 1.0%- 1.4% ROUGHLY, CONSTANT VMT/CAPITA IF WE SHIFT TO THE SAME SHARE OF WORKERS PER POP AS IN 2007 WE ARE BACK AT 2007 VMT

5 INCOME LEVELS NOT BACK TO 2007! BLS CPS NOTE: CEX SHOWS 2013 INCOMES DOWN FROM 2012; = 2011 IN 2013 TOP 4 QUINTILES LOST INCOME; ONLY LOWEST QUINTILE GAINED A BIT

6 TRANSPORTATION SPENDING BY WORKERS PER HOUSEHOLD EACH ADDED WORKERS ADDS ABOUT $2,800 IN CONSUMER SPENDING FOR TRANSPORTATION

7 “NORMAL” TRANSPORTATION SHARE IS 18-20% - NOT SEEN SINCE CEX TRANSPORTATION SPENDING RISES TO 17.6% GAS DOWN; CAR PURCHASES UP –POP, EARNERS, VEHICLES per HH CONSTANT

8 THIS CENTURY A VERY limited century so far LIMITED POP GROWTH VEHICLE GROWTH ROADWAY GROWTH VMT GROWTH SLIGHT GROWTH IN CONGESTED ROADS Average travel time to work minutes minutes Change% chg Population (millions) % Vehicles (millions) % Road System miles (millions) % Lane Miles (millions) % Vehicle Miles of Travel (trillions) % VMT/ lane mile (thousands) % Summary Table of Key Factors

9 Some fundamental premises regarding future VMT Transportation is all about reducing the time and cost penalties of overcoming distance. – Overcoming distance = Access to opportunity = GOOD – Broader access to opportunity will be KEY in the future When innovation reduces the penalties of distance people will consume more of it. = more travel = more distance traversed = more VMT

10 AMERICA BECAME GREAT BY OVERCOMING THE TYRANNY OF DISTANCE NO OTHER SOCIETY HAS REACHED THAT SCALE A COMMON MARKET OF WORKERS RESOURCES AND PRODUCTS FROM MAINE TO CALIFORNIA + AK & HI THE FUTURE WILL BE ABOUT SPECIALIZATION ACCCESS TO – SPECIALIZED WORKERS – SPECIALIZED MARKETS – SPECIALIZED SOURCES MARKET SHEDS WILL EXPAND-TRIP LENGTH GROWS

11 THE DEBATE IS REALLY ALL ABOUT SOME OF US SEE VMT AS EVIL OR A SYMBOL OF A HOST OF NEGATIVES OTHERS SEE VMT AS A BENIGN, GOSH, MAYBE EVEN A POSITIVE FORCE IS IT “INDUCED” DEMAND OR “LATENT” DEMAND

12 HOW CRUEL IS THIS SOCIETY TO FORCE MINORITIES TO OWN VEHICLES

13 DO ROADS CAUSE TRAFFIC ? SCHOOLS CAUSE CHILDREN ? HOSPITALS CAUSE ILLNESS ? SUPER MARKETS CAUSE EATING? ?

14 “THE TRIPLE CONVERGENCE” TONY DOWNS IMPROVE A ROAD AND WHAT HAPPENS? – DRIVERS SWITCH FROM OTHER ROADS – DRIVERS SWITCH FROM OTHER TIMES – TRAVELERS SWITCH FROM OTHER MODES THEREFORE EXPANSION IS INEFFECTIVE THEREFORE THE ONLY ANSWER IS: RELAX AND ENJOY THE CONGESTION, OR PRICING!

15 BUT I CONVINCED TONY – I THINK! IMPROVE ROAD WHAT HAPPENS ?- – DRIVERS SWITCH FROM OTHER ROADS – THAT MEANS THEY GET TO CHOOSE A BETTER ROUTE – DRIVERS SWITCH FROM OTHER TIMES – THAT MEANS THEY GET TO GO WHEN THEY PREFER – TRAVELERS SWITCH FROM OTHER MODES – THAT MEANS THEY GET TO CHOOSE A PREFERRED APPROACH THEREFORE EXPANSION IS INEFFECTIVE NO; IT MEANS THAT EXPANSION IMPROVES AND EXPANDS CHOICE FOR BOTH PREVIOUS AND NEW USERS

16 TTI URBAN MOBILITY REPORT 2007

17 WOULDN’T IT BE NICE …. IF TRANSPORTATION DID NOT IMPEDE PEOPLE FROM ACTING ON THEIR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL INTERESTS? MAYBE EVEN SUPPORTED IT?

18 ON OVERCROWDING AT TRB A PARABLE TRNEWS 1993 In one packed session, while seated high on the dais awaiting my turn to speak, (with a lofty view usually reserved for economists) I noticed that in the back of the room a hotel employee was unloading chairs. As fast as they were setup, people sat on them. The faster he put out chairs the faster people sat. Finally, he ran out of chairs, and people stopped sitting. Then, with that keen insight for which I am known, I realized: Chairs cause sitting! Alan E. Pisarski

19 ON OVERCROWDING AT TRB A PARABLE TRNEWS 1993 Given the number of policy analysts and planners available to us, and a planning process rich in depth, breadth, height, width, length, density- and viscosity-we can devise a better answer. Obviously, more capacity is not the answer. This member of the custodial staff who was unloading chairs thought he was doing the right thing, of course. He thought, misguided as he was, that it was his job to provide more capacity for people who wanted to sit. But we must not fall into his trap. We are transportation professionals! We understand these things on a plane to which he cannot hope to aspire. Alan E. Pisarski

20 THANK YOU ! Alan E. Pisarski

21 CURRENT VMT IMPROVING – OR GOING SIDEWAYS?

22 TO START: WHERE IS VMT NOW? Table 2-1 Commuting in Perspective Household Travel Travel by All Modes 2009Private Vehicle Travel 2009 Percent of Person Trips Percent of Person Miles of Travel Percent of Person Travel Time Percent of VMT Percent of Total Roadway VMT Commuting Work Related/Business Travel Other Resident Travel Subtotal 100% Public and Commercial Travel Public Vehicle Travel 2 Utility/Service Travel 12 Freight and Goods Movement Travel 10 Total 100% TABLE 2-1 BRIEF 2; Commuting in America 2013 – based on FHWA estimates

23 TTI URBAN MOBILITY REPORT 2010


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