Study finds rate of Missouri car commuters has declined

Dec 6, 2013

Credit Horia Varlan via Flickr

Some Missouri drivers are changing the way they get around their communities, that’s according to a report released by the Missouri Public Interest Research Group on Wednesday. That report said that the rate of cars commuting in Missouri’s urbanized areas has declined. At the same time, the report also shows that the use of alternative transportation has increased over the years. 

Alec Sprague, Midwest advocate of MoPIRG, said the report could bring changes to policy making.

“There is a shift away from driving in our cities here in Missouri and across the country and policy makers need to wake up and realize that the driving boom is over,” said Sprague. “Based on these national and local trends, we should be investing in public transit.”

Bob Brendel is the assignment coordinator at the Missouri Department of Transportation. He said that these changes are not surprising but MoDoT does not determine if more funds will be given to the improvement of other modes of transportation.

“Unfortunately, our funding streams are constitutionally mandated to be spent on road and bridges,” said Brendel. “So we can’t use fuel tax revenue or licensing fee on anything but roads and bridges.”

Brendel said that funding for public transportation in Missouri is dependent on annual appropriations by the state legislatures from general revenue.

MoPIRG reported that Missourians have cut their per-person driving miles by three-point-four-five percent since 2005 – which reflects the end of the nation’s long-term driving boom.