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Madison Near Top of the List of 100 American Cities Where People are Driving Less

Rise in Public Transit Miles, Biking Among Steepest in Nation

A report released today by the WISPIRG Foundation shows reduced driving miles and rates of car commuting in Wisconsin’s urbanized areas—including Madison and Milwaukee —and greater use of public transit and biking.

The report found that, of the 100 largest urbanized areas nationally, Milwaukee and Madison ranked 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in declines in driving miles per capita, behind only New Orleans.

“There is a shift away from driving in our cities here in Wisconsin and across the country,” said Bruce Speight, WISPIRG Foundation Director. “Policy makers need to wake up and realize the driving boom is over. We need to stop wasting money on new and expanded highways and invest instead in improving public transit and biking, which are growing around the country.”

The report, “Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America’s Biggest Cities,” is based on the most current available government data. It is the first ever national study to compare transportation trends for America’s largest cities. Findings include:

  • In the Madison urbanized area, there was a 17.7 percent decrease in vehicle-miles traveled per capita from 2006 to 2011. The decrease in Madison was the 3rd largest percent decrease among America’s 100 largest cities.
  • The number of passenger miles travelled on transit per capita increased 12.8 percent in Madison between 2005 and 2010. Measured in terms of the number of trips taken on public transit per-capita, Madison witnessed a 9.7 percent increase from 2005 to 2010.

For additional information and findings read full WISPRIG Press Release.


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