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Old 07-29-2008, 07:24 AM   #1
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Gas prices trim motorists' miles

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/met...wer_miles.html
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tvtw/08maytvt/page6.cfm

Gas prices trim motorists' miles

STAFF AND WIRE REPORT
Published on: 07/29/08

Soaring gas prices prompted Georgians to reduce the miles they drive by about 4.3 percent in May, a sharper drop than the national decline of 3.7 percent.

Americans drove 9.6 billion fewer miles in May 2008 than in May 2007, according to federal data released Monday. The 3.7 percent decline was the third-largest monthly drop in the 66 years the Department of Transportation has been collecting the data.

In Georgia, drivers logged 443 million fewer miles in May, according to a state-by-state breakdown based on state highway agency reports. Georgians drove 9.84 billion miles in the month, down from 10.29 billion a year earlier.

Nationally, the May decline is the seventh monthly drop in a row. Since November 2007, Americans have driven 40.5 billion fewer miles compared to the same period a year earlier.

"People are choosing to drive less in the ways that they can," said Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration.

They're cutting the number of car trips they take, and they're walking, taking carpools and, sometimes, simply staying home instead.

May's drop came in a month when traffic usually rises due to the Memorial Day holiday and the start of the summer vacation season.

Routine driving accounts for much of the decline, and in urban areas it is accompanied by rising use of mass transit.

Yet the biggest declines are occurring in parts of the country where people don't have easy alternatives to driving, such as the central states, Hecox said.

Americans in those regions might be taking a harder hit from a variety of economic woes, such as the slumping housing market and soaring cost of food, Hecox said.

As a result of the drop, the federal highway trust fund ? which relies on per-gallon taxes that don't rise with the price of fuel ? faces a multibillion dollar shortfall next year, down from a surplus of more than $10 billion just three years ago.

No one expects traffic volume to bounce back anytime soon, despite a downtick in gas prices over the past two weeks.

Average gas prices peaked at about $4.07 two weeks ago but have dropped under $4 this week.


More bad news for the speculators. Good news for those who care. Now what I want to see is how this translates into air quality per region.

OM
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:33 AM   #2
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This basically proves that you can't get people to do the right thing voluntarily. For years, environmentalists have been telling us we need to drive less and buy more fuel efficient cars. But not until gas prices shot up did people start to do so.

As a conscientious human being who would like for there to be a pleasant and healthy world for my child to grow up in and for him to raise his own children in; I can't help but wish for gas prices to climb even higher. There is a lot of shock value a the round $5 per gallon.

I moved to a smaller city where gas prices are 50 cents per gallon lower than in San Diego. It's at a higher elevation so my car can accept lower octane. I live 3 miles one way from my work. And I put together a car capable of 40 mpg city. Not only that, but occasionally I ride my bike to work.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:50 PM   #3
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Even though Americans are driving less oil went up $5.00 a barrel today. Something has to be done about the speculators! They will continue to gouge us just to fatten there wallets --Josh
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OokiiMamoru View Post
Yet the biggest declines are occurring in parts of the country where people don't have easy alternatives to driving, such as the central states, Hecox said.

Americans in those regions might be taking a harder hit from a variety of economic woes, such as the slumping housing market and soaring cost of food
well gas prices are less than half that of what they were when this article was written.

so, obviously higher prices aren't as big a deterrant as loss of income. i never will believe high gas prices do more good than harm. the rich don't care, and much of the middle class and poor have no other options(mass transit for example) than to keep driving.
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