Number of drivers down, mass transit use up

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP)– New research is showing signs that Americans are driving less. 22News looks at why those numbers may be declining.

For millions of Americans when you have somewhere to go it’s as simple as grabbing the keys and turning on the engine. Now, according to research from the Michigan Transportation Institute, a significant number of Americans are choosing other ways to get around.

The research is showing that the number of Americans that have cars out on the road has declined nearly 10 percent over the last 10 years.

Returning to the levels it was in the early 1990’s with the Average American household now owns fewer than two cars.

Darlene Jensen, from Springfield, told 22News she thinks it could have something to do with a shift in focus. “Perhaps younger people are now focused on the environment and being eco-friendly. And even getting healthy riding their bike and maybe even carpooling. Just it’s all about the environment I think,” Jensen said.

But others argue the decline may be a matter of cost as more teens and 20-somethings are holding off on getting a license. Those numbers are down nearly 20 percent from a decade ago.

Celine Gaudreau, told 22News she’s noticed the increase in bike riders in her hometown of Longmeadow. “The younger kids, college age, they’re all on bikes and I think too it has to do with the cost of gas,” Gaudreau said.

“Well definitely gas is one of them, then car repairs inspection stickers everything like that, it all adds up really fast,” Samantha Erricolo, a young driver from Longmeadow told 22News.

With the decline came an increase in mass transit use, Americans took a record 10.7 billion trips on some form of Mass transit last year alone.

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