Americans still driving less, DOT says

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s latest highway driving analysis shows that Americans drove 3.6 percent less, or 9.6 billion miles fewer, in July 2008 than July 2007. Since last November, Americans have driven 62.6 billion miles less than they did over the same nine-month period last year.

Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said comprehensive reform is needed across the transportation system. In September, the federal government was forced to move $8 billion to the Highway Trust Fund, which was set to run out of money by the end of the month. The Highway Trust Fund comes from the federal gasoline tax.

“Federal transportation policies that rely almost exclusively on gas taxes are failing our state and local governments,” Peters said. “If we don’t evolve our policies, we will leave a sad legacy of old roads, crowded highways and unfulfilled transit ambitions.”