Wisconsin sees fewer miles driven every year since 2004A newly-released study shows that Wisconsin residents have driven fewer miles in their cars for each of the last eight years.
By: Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A newly-released study shows that Wisconsin residents have driven fewer miles in their cars for each of the last eight years.
The public interest group WISPIRG has looked at federal data that shows the total miles traveled by Wisconsin residents in vehicles is down 3 percent compared to 2004. That's even with more people on the road.
WISPIRG director Bruce Speight says over time, a significant change is taking place. “The proof is in the pudding: we're driving less, and we're using transit, bike, pedestrian infrastructure, and the new technologies that enable the usage of those, much more.”
Speight says that especially seems true for the millennial generation: those born after 1980. Speight says one example of the newer technology is an phone application in Madison, called Bus Radar (currently Android-only), where people can find out the location of the metro bus they want to catch.
Metro spokesperson Mick Rusch credits Bus Radar and another app called Mobile UW (iOS, Android) for boosting ridership. “It's taken a lot of the apprehension out of riding the bus," he said. "You know your bus is coming. It's especially helpful when there's some poor weather out there.”
Rusch says the system is not mistake-free, but he says more bus stops will soon have scannable information on the location of a bus. At the same time, pockets of the state are seeing more transportation alternatives, the state DOT held a meeting Tuesday on the massive zoo interchange reconstruction project near Milwaukee, and promoted that the re-do of I-94 between Milwaukee and Kenosha is only costing an estimated $1.65 billion instead of $1.9 billion.