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December 24, 2008

Comments

Dave Reid

I hope this trend continues though I believe it is also connect to the economic collapse. That said the time is right to expand transit and capture those new riders.

J. Strupp

Interesting choice of words.

"capture" indeed.

J. Strupp

“The fact that the trend persists even as gas prices are dropping,” said Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, “confirms that America’s travel habits are fundamentally changing.”

Assuming that American consumer demand for fuel has "fundamentally" changed is absolute hogwash.

The Amercian consumer will increase fuel consumption based on lower gas prices and vise versa. This has always been the case and always will.

As a case and point: SUV and truck sales have far outpaced hybrid and economy class auto sales in the last quarter and will probably be the most purchased car class in 2009 because of the drop in gas prices. This will eventually lead to an increase in domestic fuel consumption, which won't show up in economic data for some time.

The downward trend in miles traveled has failed to increase sharply simply due to current economic conditions.

It won't last.

John Michlig

Well, I'd have to agree with some of your blind assertions before swallowing something like "As a case and point: SUV and truck sales have far outpaced hybrid and economy class auto sales in the last quarter and will probably be the most purchased car class in 2009 because of the drop in gas prices." Everything after "2009" in that sentence is an assumption you make with which I patently disagree.

Here's the fact: HYBRIDS are still over the purchase-price threshold for most consumers. Period. It has nothing to do with the price of gas. Perhaps the day is soon coming (i.e government mandate as a bailout condition) when a hybrid will be more affordable - - watch what happens then.

SUV and truck sales outpacing hybrid sales? Not impressive given the above fact. Plus, many pundits who are unfamiliar with midwestern weather assume purchasing an SUV or truck is a choice based on antipathy toward gas conservation concerns. Wrong. I've driven a four-wheel drive SUV and now have the de-rigeur Dodge Caravan Van to cart around the kids and groceries. Guess what? The van is garbage in the snow/ice conditions that Wisconsin faces almost HALF the year. My next vehicle will be a fuel efficient SUV-type of thing.

Now, if you buy a Hummer, that's a different story ...

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