June VMT Down 13% Nationwide

June VMT Down 13% Nationwide

August 28, 2020  | Jeff Davis

The Federal Highway Administration reported last week that traffic on U.S. roads in June 2020 was 13.0 percent below the 2019 levels. This is a significant recovery from the COVID-lockdown peak of -40.2 percent in April, which rebounded to -25.7 percent in May.

We have totals for U.S. gasoline production much more recently than VMT (the Energy Department reports on a weekly basis, and we have through last week). If the VMT pace roughly tracks the pace of gasoline production, then VMT should stabilize at around 7-10 percent below the 2019 levels for a few months.

As usual, the pace of urban driving diverges from that of rural driving, with rural residents driving more and rebounding from the COVID lockdowns more quickly.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
All Urban Roads
Billion VMT vs 2019 +3.7 +3.2 -37.7 -81.6 -54 -27.2
Increase/Decrease +2.1% +2.0% -19.7% -41.4% -27.2% -14.0%
All Rural Roads
Billion VMT vs 2019 +1.8 +1.7 -13.7 -31.7 -19.6 -9.5
Increase/Decrease +2.5% +2.6% -17.1% -37.6% -22.4% -10.9%

That data can be graphed visually like so:

And there is regional variance as well, which FHWA is kind enough to map.

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