Growing travel trend continues in November
The year-over-year gains in travel distance showed no signs of stopping in November, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
In its latest Traffic Volume Trends report, which is issued on a two-month lag, the FHWA says Americans drove an estimated 261.36 billion miles in November. This marked a year-over-year increase of 1.1 percent.
The seasonally adjusted travel total rose 0.9 percent to 269.2 billion miles. The travel total for the first 11 months of 2017 reached 2.95 trillion miles, while the moving 12-month total hit 3.2 trillion miles.
In the Northeast region—which includes the New England states as well as New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania—the vehicle miles traveled for the month stood at an estimated 35.63 billion miles. This total was up 0.9 percent from November 2016.
Connecticut's travel total was up 1.3 percent to 2.75 billion miles. This total included an increase of 1 percent to 2.01 billion miles on urban arterial roads and a 5 percent jump in rural arterial traffic to 136 million miles.
Rhode Island had a 4.3 percent increase in travel—the largest single state increase in the United States—to 614 million miles. The state's urban arterial travel increased 4.6 percent to 456 million miles, while the rural arterial travel was up 1.8 percent to 64 million miles.
The Western region, which includes 13 states, had the largest year-over-year travel increase at 1.9 percent. Drivers in these states traveled an estimated 61.47 billion miles in November.
In the South Gulf region, which includes eight states ranging from Kentucky to Texas, drivers traveled an estimated 52.23 billion miles – up 1.7 percent from the year before. Drivers in the South Atlantic region, which includes eight states from Maryland to Florida as well as the District of Columbia, traveled an estimated 56.31 billion miles. This marked a year-over-year increase of 1.5 percent.
The North Central region, consisting of 12 states ranging from Ohio to North Dakota, was the only one to experience a travel decrease in November. Overall travel in the region fell 0.7 percent from the previous year to 55.73 billion miles.
The District of Columbia had the next largest individual travel increase after Rhode Island, with the vehicle miles traveled going up 3.5 percent to 288 million miles. Both New Mexico and Utah had 3.4 percent increases in travel, rising to 2.22 billion miles in the former state and 2.53 billion miles in the latter.
Travel was down in 13 states. The largest decrease occurred in Michigan, where the travel total fell 5.8 percent from November 2016 to 7.37 billion miles. This included an 8.5 percent drop in urban arterial travel to 4.23 billion miles, although the state's rural arterial travel rose 1.2 percent to 1.49 billion miles.
Montana had the second most significant decrease in travel, with the state's total falling 4.1 percent to 958 million miles. Travel in North Dakota was down 2.7 percent to 683 million miles.
The Traffic Volume Trends reports are based on data from thousands of continuous traffic counting locations, which measure traffic volume and compare it to the same month in the previous year to determine changes. November's report used information from 4,892 stations, including 21 in Connecticut and 59 in Rhode Island.
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