Well it looks like the President is right: people have figured out whether or not to drive more or less.
It looks like less.
Total Vehicle Miles Traveled, is down from last year and 2006. Gas purchases are down, and transit ridership is up, as our Living Cities Director Andy Darrell reported in a blog post earlier this month.
I wondered if this was a national phenomena or regional. Were there any spatial patterns?
Click on the map below to see an interactive map that shows the percent change in ridership for the time period of January to May of 2007 and the same stretch this year at public transit agencies all over the country.
You can scroll over the map to see the data for individual transit districts. Zoom in by creating a box on the map. Zoom back out by clicking the zoom out button that pops up.
The data for this comes the National Transit Database
Some interesting results are out there…and some need some explanations. For example, the only top 10 transit city (in terms of total number of trips) to see a decrease from last year was LA. Why? It turns out that the LA transit system saw a system wide fare increase a year ago.
Fully 75% of cities across the country saw gains in their transit ridership.
Here are the top ten cities in terms of transit growth (as a percentage over last year).
1 Jonesboro, AR: 101%
2 Sherman, TX: 90%
3 Columbia, MO: 72%
4 Lewiston, ME: 70%
5 Terre Haute, IN 65%
6 Gulfport-Biloxi, MS 50%
7 Leesburg-Eustis, FL 44%
8 Muskegon, MI: 43%
9 Lynchburg, VA: 42%
10 St. Augustine, FL: 41%
Here are the ten cities that saw their ridership drop the most.
1 McAllen, TX: -83%
2 Myrtle Beach, SC: -56%
3 York, PA: -42%
4 Turlock, CA: -35%
5 Dothan, AL: -32%
6 Youngstown, OH/PA: -28%
7 Springfield, MO: -26%
8 Monroe, LA: -20%
9 South Bend, IN: -20%
10 Florence, SC: -19%
Check out the oil price widget below:
What’s going on in your town? Comment and let us know!