The Ripple Effect of Driving Less in the U.S.

October 19, 2015

According to Salon, U.S. energy costs, housing and tax policies, and big businesses were defined greatly by the population's average vehicle miles traveled, or VMT. Since 2001, VMT have plummeted.

“When a cohort of the size of the Millennial generation changes behavior that radically, it’s a little like what happens when a third of the people on board a ferry decide to move from starboard to port: the entire boat starts to list,” Salon explains.

In 2009, Millennials traveled 23 percent fewer miles on average than their same-age predecessors did in 2001, and gas consumption in 2014 was at a ten-year low.

This has caused a domino effect that hits other industries and sectors. One example is urban renewal, where thousands of neighborhoods that were built before the convenience of the automobile are being revitalized, leaving a lot of suburban housing stock behind.

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