Motor Vehicle VMT Forecasting Review

The prospective rate of growth in Motor Vehicle Travel over the near-term future is likely to emerge as a critical issue in the debate over reauthorization of the federal-aid highway program, as well as in other current discussions of transportation policy. Future growth in motor vehicle use has three major implications for highway investment levels and their funding. First, vehicle use will have a significant effect on fuel consumption and thus on revenues generated by federal and state fuel taxation, which are the primary source of total funding available to support highway spending. Second, growth in Motor Vehicle Travel and the resulting levels of recurring congestion provide a rough index of the benefits from investing in expanded highway capacity, and thus affect the ideal level of highway spending. (However, the fact that highway user taxes are typically well below the cost imposed by peak-hour travel requires extreme caution in interpreting growth in vehicle use and congestion as signals to increase highway spending). Third, most environmental impacts associated with motor vehicle use depend partly on the total number of miles they are driven, so projected growth in total travel have critical implications for future environmental impacts from highway use and potential resistance to increased highway investment.


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    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $113976.00
    • Contract Numbers:

      DTFH61-08-V-00016 Ta

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Federal Highway Administration

      Office of Planning, Environment and Realty (HEP)
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Ducca, Fred

    • Performing Organizations:

      Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

      Cambridge, MA  United States  02142
    • Principal Investigators:

      Smith, Scott

    • Start Date: 20080815
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20091231
    • Source Data: RiP Project 20321

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01459694
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
    • Contract Numbers: DTFH61-08-V-00016 Ta
    • Files: RIP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:10PM