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Missoula Measures - Car Trips


Why this topic?

The goal of an effective transportation system is to move people (including the elderly, children, and people without motor vehicles) around as efficiently, safely, and quickly as possible, and in a way that does not severely impact the environment and quality of life.

Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is only one gauge of our progress and our challenges in transportation. It is a placeholder until we find measures that better reflect several facets of our transportation issues, including the number of vehicle trips, the number of people in each vehicle, the distance of trips, and the impact of being a regional center.

How are we doing?

Nationally, including in Missoula VMT has been increasing as much as four times as fast as population growth.

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graph vehicle miles traveled, urban Missoula, 2010 and estimate 2040

2010 Missoula Urban Transportation Plan, Missoula Office of Planning & Grants

Related Data

Where Are We Going?

Americans average 9.7 trips per day per household. (ITE Trip Generation Manual) The Missoula number is slightly lower, about 8.5 trips per day. (Campbell) Nationally, the percentage of total car trips that involve getting to work has been declining over the past 20 years, from 35% to 28%. The percentage of family and personal business trips and social and recreational trips have been increasing. (U.S. Person Trips by Private Vehicles, Transportation Air Quality: Selected Facts & Figures, U.S. DOT)

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graph commuting to work



graph commute to work drove alone and carpool various Montana counties

graph commute to work other methods various Montana counties



Related Websites

Missoula Bike Pedestrian Office

Missoula in Motion

2014 Missoula Transportation Report

Long Range Plan Update


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