Transportation Secretary Cries Over Americans Driving Less Miles


Washington DC - High fuel prices seem to be adversely affecting American driving habits, according to a new report by the Federal Highway Administration. The report says Americans drove 30 billion less miles since last November. This is approximately a 1% decline over the same time period in previous years, but this is significant because total mileage usually rises one to two percent a year.

For April 2008 alone, mileage declined 1.8% over the same time last year. Tracked by region, the west - with its traditionally higher gas prices - declined the most with mileage falling by a whopping 2.8%.

Transportation Secretary Mary Peters says the lower miles driven have an adverse affect on the highway system because the government collects less tax on fuel. So driving less miles, which should be a good thing for the freeways, actually is a bad thing because less miles, means less fuel which in turn means less tax collected - clear as mud? We thought so. Currently the federal Highway Trust Fund received 18.4 cents per gallon from gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon from diesel fuel.

"We’re burning less fuel as energy costs change driving patterns, steer people toward more fuel efficient vehicles and encourage more to use transit. Which is exactly why we need a more effective funding source than the gas tax," Secretary Peters said.

Acting Federal Highway Administrator Jim Ray says the move towards greater fuel efficiency is great, but the highway system needs sustainable funding measures in place for the future. Hmmm, sounds like another tax coming up to me.

Gasoline prices in the Los Angeles area currently average around $4.50 a gallon with the most expensive places cresting $5.00+ a gallon.

  • JeanLuc
    What has any of this got to do with technology and computer hardware?
  • lordmetroid
    No no no, don't even mention the possibility of letting fellow peers offer infrastructure to each other on a market basis.

    To government their is merely one solution to all problems, tax id est coerce money out of people as much as one can, remove roughly 70% from the top in administrative costs and build roads no one asked for so it looks like they do something.

    Isn't it time for some progress?
  • seatrotter
    Hhmmm... recently, big ISPs' arguement involves internet connectivity being similar to pipes and highways. Maybe this is could be used as a compelling reason to tax the internet. :D
  • aleluja
    @JeanLuc all the computer components, elektronics and other stuff is being transported by trucks or planes. Got it now or should i explain more?


    Well, gasoline currently costs 6.78$ for galon in Europe's country Lithuania, where i live.
  • Flip Trip
    Dont moan and groan about your feul prices, we pay more then 10 Dollar per gallon here in The Netherlands and in Germany its a litte cheaper, but still around the 10 Dollar mark. And what about our 19% sales tax, etc, etc. But still I love living in Europe. At least we have a good social security system. :D. And ofcourse our dutch Coffeeshops where you dont get coffee ;).
  • aleluja
    Flip, if you meant me, then i can say that i do not moan about prices of fuels. I was just giving an example of prices, so those who live in US woulnd't think that they pay alot.

    And i do know that gasoline prices are like 30% higher in Netherlands than in Lithuania.

    What i would moan about, is PC component prices are up to 30% higher than in those countries not in EU.
  • exiled scotsman
    I don't piss and moan about fuel prices here in the US. I actually think its a good thing. People are finally seeing that you reap what you sow. Time to do something smart about it. Anyway, I'm getting quite tired of europeans throwing around their big gas prices. Your gas prices might be $10 per gallon but you have extensive public transportation and friendly bicycle policies. What do we have here in the US? A bunch of bickering morons in congress, mostly ill-informed people in the streets, hardly any public railways, and open, porous boarders that are costing taxpayers $300+ billion a year not to mention the glaring security hole. It might be time to finally jump ship. The US is showing signs of of a hull breach.
  • crockdaddy
    The US does pay a lot however. Take a look at a map of your typical European country. Check population density. Now compare this to the US. You will see the US is not nearly as densely populated. Hence the US people must drive further by default.Next, mass transit. The same lack of population density also makes mass transit not economical throughout most of the US. Unless you happen to live in Chicago, LA, Boston, New York, or Atlanta,there is not likely to be enough concentrated population centers to make for an "efficient mass transit system". Runnig a bus line that only serves 15 people is not an efficient use of resources. I live relatively close to my job and my round trip is 25 miles each day. A great many people live much further away from their job. Now where the US is definitely guilty, is/was our love of all things Truck/SUV. That is rapidly changing of course and I hope this energy "crisis" breeds a generation of dedicated people whom view energy effciency as one of their top concerns.
  • falchard
    Mass Transit in the US can still get a huge kick in the rear. In the City I live in, the mass transit is horrible. Takes hours to go 20 miles. They have it so you have to daisy chain off 6 buses to get where you need to go. A much better solution would be to have a transit hub in each region. Each hub has buses that only service that region, while other buses only go to and from these hubs. This would make the same 20 mile trip above take 30 minutes or less.

    Might be a good time to make the Transit Authority a federal office, and combine it with the Federal Highway Office.
  • LoboBrancoTimido
    exiled scotsmanI'm getting quite tired of europeans throwing around their big gas prices. Your gas prices might be $10 per gallon but you have extensive public transportation and friendly bicycle policies.Eh! Not all European have extensive public transportation or even friendly bicycle policies. Don't put us all in the same bag ok! :-)