Peak car?

From David Metz's Limits to Travel blog: Peak Car?

I read with interest Phil Goodwin's Comment piece in Local Transport Today of 25 June in which he introduced the concept of 'peak car', and look forward to his promised further exposition. In the meantime, let me observe that as far as London is concerned, peak car use came and went at least fifteen years ago, when none of us noticed. Transport for London's most recent 'Travel in London' report records a steady decline in private transport's share of trips since at least 1993 (then 50%, 41% in 2008). Correspondingly, public transport's mode share has risen from 24% to 33%, while walking and cycling have been steady at about 25%.

I read the beginning of Goodwin's piece, but it is behind a registration wall.

It begins:

Rail, bus and tram use all peaked and then declined, so why do so many people assume that car use will either keep rising indefinitely or reach saturation and a 'steady state' condition?

I agree with the general point. But it must reach saturation before it drops. Whether it drops quickly after the peak, or slowly, depends on specific conditions. London suggests the drop may be faster rather than slower.

As gas prices drop and if the economy recovers, I expect we will see somewhat more travel by car in the US than the past couple of years, but the rate of growth from the 1990s and before is a thing of the past (unless travel by car gets much faster).

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

Evolving Transportation Networks

Place and Plexus

The Transportation Experience

Access to Destinations

Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Intelligent Transportation Systems

Financing Transportation Networks

View David Levinson's profile on LinkedIn

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on July 1, 2010 4:59 PM.

Review of "Bay Area/California High-Speed Rail Ridership and Revenue Forecasting Study was the previous entry in this blog.

Microsoft tech allows sticking batteries in any way you want is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Monthly Archives


Powered by Movable Type 4.31-en