Fact of the Week #1229

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Transportation Analysis Fact of the Week #1229

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March 14, 2022

Number of Daily Trips Taken by Americans in 2021 Rebounded from 2020 Lows

Recent data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics showed that in November of 2021, the number of daily trips taken nationwide exceeded the number of trips taken in late 2019, before the pandemic significantly affected daily travel across the United States. The ‘trips’ included all modes of transportation. A trip was defined as a movement that includes a stay of longer than 10 minutes at a location away from home. Multiple stays of longer than 10 minutes before returning home was counted as multiple trips.

Beginning in March 2020, the number of trips outside of the home declined sharply to just below 30 billion trips per month as the effects of the pandemic took hold. Daily travel remained low throughout 2020 as many worked from home and received supplies via delivery services. By February 2021, the number of trips taken had rebounded to more normal levels but remained below 2019 levels until November of 2021.

Total Number of Trips per Month, 2019–2021

Source: Estimated for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics by the Maryland Transportation Institute and Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory at the University of Maryland. The travel statistics are produced from an anonymized national panel of mobile device data from multiple sources.

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