Massachusetts residents are driving less

Massachusetts residents are driving over 4% less since 2004, a study by MASSPIRG reveals. (Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki)
Massachusetts residents are driving more than 4 percent less since 2004, a study by MASSPIRG reveals.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

In a new report, MASSPIRG concludes that Massachusetts residents have cut their per-person driving miles by 4.03 percent since 2004.

The decline is a national trend, with Bay Staters at the forefront of 45 other states.

The report, Moving Off the Road: A State-by-State Analysis of the National Decline in Driving, finds that America’s burgeoning love affair with driving may officially be cooling off.

“Bay Staters’ driving miles are down, just as they are in almost every state – only more so,” Kristin Jackson, MASSPIRG Organizer, said in a release. “It’s time for policymakers to wake up and realize the driving boom is over. We need to reconsider expensive highway expansions and focus on alternatives such as public transit and biking — which people increasingly are using to get around.”

Many cite the need for expanding availability of the MBTA through Somerville and into Southeastern Massachusetts.

““The MASSPIRG study now confirms what has been apparent to many of us for some time,” said Gov. Michael Dukakis. “People are sick and tired of wasting their time in traffic and want to live in communities that are close to their work with excellent public transportation systems.”

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