Unemployment Primary Cause for Less Traffic

Apr 29, 2009

Congestion down in 99 of 100 major cities

An out-of-work workforce and less discretionary income (road trips) are to blame, or thank, for your smoother commute this morning.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that because of those economic factors, “millions fewer Americans are driving.” And they drove about 8 billion fewer miles in January and February alone compared to the same period last year.

Fewer drivers also means less fender benders, commute times and bottle-necks. The same article went on to list rather dramatic drop-off numbers — congestion was down in 99 of 100 major cities known for their crawling or stalling traffic, including:

  • Atlanta (-36%)
  • Tucson, Ariz. (-57%)
  • Riverside, Calif. (-57%)
  • Colorado Springs, Colo. (-68%)
  • Dayton Beach, Fla. (-70%)

Maybe not so surprisingly after reading that, use of public transportation is now at a 52-year high, according to a WSJ stat from the American Public Transportation Association.

Has your fleet noticed a difference in travel times? Let us know.

Photo copyright of Burning Image under the Creative Commons license