New information released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows that Americans drove nearly 3 trillion miles in 2013, the highest level in six years, confirming estimates released last year and supporting calls for greater investment in roads, bridges, transit, and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to accommodate growing traffic volumes.
"Transportation is a critical engine of the nation's economy," says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "To prepare for the needs of the 21st century, Congress needs to pass the President's GROW AMERICA Act. It would provide innovative financial assistance for infrastructure projects and increase investments to meet the growing transit needs of communities – whether urban, suburban or rural."
According to FHWA's "Highway Statistics," an annual compilation of data from state Departments of Transportation, drivers traveled 2.99 trillion miles in 2013, the highest annual total since 2007 and the fourth-highest since such recordkeeping began in 1936.
The new data also shows the number of U.S. vehicles increased to 255.9 million from 253.6 million the previous year, the biggest single-year increase since 2011.
"This data is critical to helping the nation's leaders make informed decisions about critical infrastructure investments," says Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "To ensure our roads, bridges and tunnels can keep pace with the demands of the American public, greater investment is needed – and the six-year, $478 billion 'GROW AMERICA' Act is a step in the right direction."
To review the new data in FHWA's "Highway Statistics," visithttp://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2013/.