As the price of gasoline quadrupled over the last decade, American drivers seemed to defy the laws of economics by pumping more into their vehicles year after year.
But this is the year American drivers appear to be finally succumbing to price shock at the pump, according to a new report by Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a consulting firm affiliated with IHS Inc. It says the slowdown in the economy and soaring gasoline prices have finally persuaded Americans to drive fewer miles in fewer gas-guzzling vehicles.
“U.S. gasoline demand will likely decline in 2008 for the first time in more than 17 years,” says the report to be released Thursday. “For the first time since the 1970s and early 1980s the number of miles driven by Americans has clearly begun trending downward.”
Drivers, meanwhile, are becoming more prudent in their driving habits, either by using public transportation, carpooling or just cutting down on unnecessary trips, the two authors said in an interview. “Public transit ridership is surging all over the country,” said Samantha Gross, the other author.
Editor’s note: How can you profit from this? Lots of people are using mass transit that have never used it before. Put together an informational booklet and then sell ads in the booklet and offer the booklet for free to any new transit riders. A big problem with riding the bus is the waiting. Find a popular bus stop and sell users bottled water, umbrellas, puzzle books, etc. Brainstorm.
Photo by bigevil600.