Table 1 below shows that nationally, the rate of growthin VMT has fallen sharply since 2000. From 1982 to2000, the average annual rate of growth in the US was3.2 percent. Since 2000, the growth rate has been cut inhalf. In 2006, the growth rate was a miniscule 0.6per-cent. Chart 1 shows that there have been previousperiods in which growth rates temporarily leveled off,most notably during the economic slump of 1990-91.As discussed below however, there are reasons to believethat the current leveling off in VMT growth may be along-term trend. Chart 2 shows a similar trend for urbantraffic nationally.Table 2 shows that a similar pattern has been observedin the St. Louis area, with a modest decrease in VMTseen in 2005. The average annual rate of growth in VMTwas 3.8 percent for the period 1982-1998. From 1998 to2005, the average rate of growth was just 0.6 percent.Chart 3 presents these figures graphically.Data for the year 2007 have not yet been processed.However, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)reported that as of October, “cumulative travel for 2007changed by 0.0 percent” nationwide, compared to thefirst ten months of 2006.
Table 1: Travel in Annual Vehicle Miles (millions), All Roads and Streets, US
AnnualPercentAnnual Percent YearVMTGrowth RateYearVMTGrowth Rate
Source: FHWA, Traffic Volume Trends, May 2007
Table 2: Average Annual Daily Vehicle Miles Traveled, EWGRegion
Source: East-West Gateway Council of Governments