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USA Today article cites new data showing drop in auto commuting

23 Sep 2009 | Posted by | 1 Comment | , ,

A yearly census survey released Monday illustrates the continuation of a trend that started well before the recession: Americans are taking steps to reduce their dependence on cars, and are looking for other options for getting around. Rates of solo driving and car ownership are dropping, according to this story in the USA Today about new census data. The paper cites a census report showing drops in both Americans who drove alone to work and in overall car ownership.

Transportation for America communications director David Goldberg was quoted prominently in the article, a sign of the campaign’s growing influence in transportation policy. In the report, Goldberg points out that these trends cannot be explained by the recession alone.

Environmental consciousness and the appeal of living in urban centers also play a role, says David Goldberg, spokesman for Transportation for America, a national coalition that advocates reduced dependence on cars. “There have been trends of leveling rates of driving and increased use of public transportation which predate the economic downturn,” he says.

Younger Americans are also changing their perceptions – and the behavior – surrounding automobile use.

Some of the decline in car ownership may be driven by younger people putting off getting their driver’s licenses or buying their first cars, Goldberg says. “We’ve seen a cultural shift.”