LA traffic lighter thanks to high gas prices, Americans driving less

In Los Angeles for a short visit, I heard that area highways - famous 'round the world for bad traffic - have actually been making headlines because of high gas prices. Seems that the era of $4+/gallon fuel here in the Sunshine Golden state is bringing traffic levels on the freeways down to 1980s levels, or thereabouts. Public transportation, on the other hand, is picking up riders. Another big trend in California is a move towards hybrids and away from big vehicles.

This isn't just news here in LA; USAToday has a story, well, today, about how gas prices are "rattling" Americans and are forcing many to change their/our habits. And why not? Some people are saving up to $400 a month by not commuting by car. Others are working longer hours just to pay for gas. In the entire country, we're driving fewer miles today than we did last year - the first time the number has gone down in three decades. As we all know, driving less is the single easiest way to reduce fuel usage and green up your car. Looks like some of us are finally getting the message.

[Source: AFP, USAToday, h/t to Simin]

More Information