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Report: Cities Should Make Public Transit, Biking A Priority


A new report suggests that Americans in urban areas are driving less.

The analysis of the 100 largest urban areas in the country by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that since 2000, fewer commuters are using cars to get to work. And in most cities, the use of public transportation has gone up (since 2005), and more people are biking to work or working from home (since 2000).

But, in St. Louis, the trend is less clear. Fewer workers are relying on cars, but the use of public transportation has also decreased.

Alec Sprague with the Missouri Public Interest Research Group couldn't explain the reasons behind the changes in transportation habits. But he says the country needs to shift away from car-centric city planning.

“Policy makers need to wake up and realize that the driving boom is over,” Sprague said. "Based on these national and local trends we should be investing in public transit and biking for the future.”

According to the analysis, US per capita driving peaked in 2004, before the economic downturn.

The reportwas based on data collected by the US Department of Transportation and US Census Bureau.

Follow Sarah Skiöld-Hanlin on Twitter@Skihan