Based on preliminary reports from the State Highway Agencies, travel during June 2009 on all roads and streets in the nation increased by 2.0% (4.9 billion vehicle miles) resulting in estimated travel for the month at 256.7 billion vehicle-miles, according to the US Federal Highway Administration.
Cumulative travel for the first six months of the year is down 0.4% (-6.1 billion vehicle miles) in 2009, year-on-year.
While traffic volumes have shown some year-over-year gains earlier this year, June marks the first month when driving was higher in all regions of the United States and on all types of roads. US traffic volumes started declining in November 2007 as oil prices rose and experienced dramatic drops in 2008.
Although driving is increasing, ridership on public transportation has seen only modest declines this year, although the transit data lags behind the vehicle miles data. The first-quarter report from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), released in mid-June, found a 1.2% year-over-year drop in ridership. The decrease was slight in spite of the fact that many transit systems have had to either raise their fares or reduce their services. Light rail systems performed the best, with a 1.8% gain in ridership, while ridership on heavy rail systems dropped 1.8%, commuter rail systems dropped 3%, and large bus systems experienced a 1.2% drop in ridership.