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by Tanya Snyder
The article from The Hill is deceptive because it uses US average income (approx $73000) versus US median income (approx $50,000). If we use the median income number, the percent of pre-tax income spent on gasoline in 2012 was actually closer to 6%, not 4%. And since median household VMT was 19652 miles, this implies that vehicles in the median household got 25 mpg. Since the average household in America has two vehicles, one a medium sized sedan and the other a pickup, SUV or minivan, and since the average age of all vehicles in the US is now 10.8 years, it is unlikely that households achieved this mileage. (In 2009 the estimated fuel economy achieved by the entire fleet of American cars was only 17 mpg. The average fuel economy of new cars sold in 2012 was 23.2 mpg.) I think it’s more likely that the EIA, for whatever reason, is underreporting how much Americans spent on gas as well as trying to downplay the economic impact.
“Finally, DOTs are admitting what the data has been telling them for the past ten years: Traffic is not increasing. It's flattened out overall and decreasing per person. This will lead to more sensible investments in transportation.”
In response to "It's Happening: Washington State Revises Traffic Forecasts to Reflect Reality"