Missoula Measures - Car Trips
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.
Nationally, including in Missoula VMT has been increasing as much as four times as fast as population growth.
2010 Missoula Urban Transportation Plan, Missoula Office of Planning & Grants
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)