The “driving boom” — the steady rise of the car in America in the six decades after the end of World War II — is over, according to a new report by the US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG).
The report finds per capita driving has plateaued in recent years, as factors that fuelled the increasing use of automobiles — low gas prices, suburban expansion, and a growing workforce — are no longer at work.
Baby Boomers were happy to live in the suburbs and drive to work, US PIRG says, but members of the up-and-coming generation, known as Millennials, are more interested in living in cities and using public transportation.
According to the report, the shift away from driving will yield benefits like less traffic and reduced dependence on oil, but requires new transportation policies to “help create the conditions under which Americans can fulfil their desire to drive less.”
That means more investments in public transportation, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.
US PIRG published this infographic summarizing its findings (click to enlarge):
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