Millennials are no driving force as mileage in U.S. ebbs for eighth year

    A report by the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group finds more Americans are leaving the driving to others, according to a report from the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group.


    For the eighth year, the number of miles driven in the U.S. has dipped.

    The biggest decline is among 16- to 34-year-olds who want to live in urban and walkable neighborhoods and are more open to using public transit, said Jen Kim, NJPIRG state director.

    She expects that trend to continue and have an impact on government priorities for transportation infrastructure.

    “We don’t need to spend as much on things like roads and highways and should instead switch to things like bike lanes, more public transportation options, buses, trains,” she said.

    The trend will also contribute to ebbing gasoline consumption and a falloff in the gas tax New Jersey relies on to fund transportation projects, Kim said.

    That means other sources of revenue will be needed to meet future transit needs.

    Janna Chernetz of the New Jersey Advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign agrees with that assessment.

    The state will need to shift away from road widening projects and invest in other modes of transportation, she said.

    “We need to see more of a focus on bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. We also need to be investing more in public transit,” Chernetz said. “New Jersey has been seeing record ridership over the past few years, and the money needs to be placed in transit to keep up with this growing demand.”

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal