LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan policymakers should wake up to the fact that residents are driving less and start focusing on public transit and biking alternatives, an advocacy group says.
Per-person driving miles in Michigan are down nearly 7 percent since 2005. It's a trend occurring across the U.S.
"After 60 years of almost constant increases in the annual number of miles Americans drive, since 2004 Americans have decreased their driving per-capita for eight years in a row," the consumer group the PIRGIM Education Fund said in a report released last week. "Driving miles per person are down especially sharply among Millennials, America's largest generation that will increasingly dominate national transportation trends."
Millennials are generally defined as those born from the early 1980s through the early 2000s.
Some researchers say the changes are mostly a reflection of the economy and driving could bounce back. Others say the decline in driving reflects fundamental changes in the way Americans view the automobile.
PIRGIM said in the report that now is the time to spend more on public transit and other non-driving modes of transportation in Michigan. Some advocates question why the state spends so much on highway construction.