The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) says the statewide vehicle miles traveled (VMT) for the state reached 62.1 billion miles in 2015, a jump of 2.1 billion miles compared to 2014 and the highest every recorded.
The state had not seen an increase of that magnitude in 17 years, and WisDOT attributes the boost to a strengthening economy, increased population, lower gas prices and more commercial vehicle traffic.
“As overall travel increases, we especially see growth in commercial motor vehicle traffic which has increased 20 percent in just the last four years,” says WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb. “It’s why our department remains focused on the safe, efficient movement of freight—from developing the first-ever State Freight Plan to be completed early next year, to the Governor’s Fifth Annual Freight Summit.”
WisDOT collects the VMT data from roughly 28,000 short-term traffic count locations across the state. The agency says the average Wisconsin resident traveled 10,767 miles last year, and the VMT has more than doubled since 1975, when the figure was 29.4 billion miles.