Six decades after the launch of America’s interstate highway system, changing habits and attitudes suggest America’s romance with the road is fading. Driving rose almost continuously since World War II, but driving by U.S. households has declined nearly 10 percent since 2004. Since the decline began well before the Great Recession, economics doesn’t appear to be the only cause.
“There’s something more fundamental going on,” says Michael Sivak of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
Consider these points:
More teens and 20-somethings are waiting to get a license. Less than 70 percent of 19-year-olds now have one, down from 87 percent two decades ago.
Thousands of people are commuting by bicycle rather than by car. In Minneapolis, for example, about 3,500 people bike to work daily via the Midtown Greenway. That’s double the number of bicycle commuters in 2000.
Online shopping has reduced the number of car trips for shopping.
A record 10.7 billion mass transit rides were taken by Americans last year, a 37 percent increase since 1995. Light rail continues to expand in many cities and ride-sharing services, such as Lyft and Uber, are further denting the need to own an automobile.
The number of drive-ins – whether featuring car hops serving food or giant outdoor movie screens – have sharply declined as Americans drive less.
The number of teens taking drivers education has declined by 40 percent as state subsidies are eliminated and the need to take drivers ed to earn a high school diploma is dropped.
Heck, you don’t even need to own a vehicle to bring your things to Dino’s Storage – we rent trucks at many of our locations, so just give us a call.