Northeast travel unchanged in September

There was little increase in vehicle miles traveled in the United States in September, according to the Federal Highway Administration. In the Northeast, travel was virtually unchanged.

In its Traffic Volume Trends report for September, the Federal Highway Administration estimated that drivers in the Northeast traveled 38.31 billion miles during the month. This region—which includes New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the New England states—had a travel total of 38.33 trillion miles in September 2016.

Connecticut travel in September totaled 2.72 billion miles, the same figure recorded in the previous year. Urban arterial travel in the state fell 0.1 percent to 1.98 billion miles, but rural arterial travel rose 1.5 percent to 146 million miles.

Overall travel in Rhode Island was up 2.3 percent to 982 million miles, the fourth largest increase in the nation. Urban arterial travel was up 2.2 percent to 741 million miles, while rural arterial travel climbed 3.4 percent to 71 million miles.

The FHWA estimated the travel total for the United States as a whole to be 262.54 billion miles, a 0.3 percent year-over-year increase. The seasonally adjusted travel total stood at 267.4 billion miles, an increase of 0.9 percent from September 2016.

In the first nine months of the year, drivers covered an estimated 2.41 billion miles. The moving 12-month total stood at 3.2 trillion miles.

The largest travel increase occurred in the North Central region, an area encompassing 12 states ranging from Ohio to North Dakota. Cumulative travel in these states was up 0.7 percent from the previous year to 60 billion miles.

The 12 states of the Western region had a 0.6 percent increase from September 2016 to 56.9 billion miles. The South Gulf region, eight states stretching from Kentucky to Texas, also had a 0.6 percent increase in travel for an estimated total of 52.92 billion miles.

A year-over-year decrease in travel occurred in the South Atlantic region, which includes the District of Columbia and eight states from Maryland to Florida. The estimated travel total in this region was 54.41 billion miles, down 0.5 percent from September 2016.

The largest single state travel increase occurred in Michigan, whose total of 8.89 billion miles was a year-over-year increase of 3.6 percent. Travel climbed 3.3 percent to 2.29 billion miles in Nevada and 2.7 percent to 2.68 billion miles to Kansas.

Louisiana had the most significant decrease in travel in September, with its total of 3.68 billion miles marking a drop of 4.8 percent from the previous year. Travel was down 2.1 percent to 1.12 billion miles in Montana and 1.7 percent to 6.73 billion miles in Missouri.

Traffic Volume Trends reports are issued every month on a two-month delay. Estimates are based on information from thousands of continuous traffic counting stations across the U.S., which compare traffic volume to the same month in the previous year to estimate the number of vehicle miles traveled in each state. September's report used data from 4,964 stations, including 37 in Rhode Island and 20 in Connecticut.

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