Millions of miles not being driven

by free electron on June 21, 2008

In the local Richmond paper, on the front page it has a heartening graph showing that conservation is the best alternative energy.

For January, February, March and April, there were 461 million vehicle miles that were NOT driven as compared to 2007 in the state of Virginia. And that includes a extra day in February. That’s right almost one half of one billion less miles. That is great news and I bet that May, June and July will show even more drops in mileage as compared to last year.

This is out of a total of 25 BILLION miles so as a percentage it is not that great. But at an average of 20 miles per gallon, that becomes 23 million gallons of gasoline not used. And at current prices that is $92 million dollars not spent on fuel. That’s 184 million pounds of carbon not released into the atmosphere.

Good job Virginia.

But where did all those miles not take us? Some of us took the bus. Ridership is up. And as I go around the city, I see more and more people waiting at bus stops. And ridership from the commuter parking lots is up 7%. Sometimes people have to even stand in the buses. That is almost like a real city such as New York. So as the suburbanization of the outlying areas continues, buses are making a comeback.

From what I have read in the papers, some riders will stay riders even if gas prices drop because it is easier and calmer to not drive. And they are going to get more buses.

Some of us are combining trips. I try to stop by the grocery only on my way back from work, so I don’t have to drive out again.

Some of use are working from home once a week.

Mostly we are now thinking of driving as a privilege and not as an inalienable right and life style.

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