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Statewide vehicle miles traveled (VMT) totaled more than 59 billion miles in 2012, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). That is up from 58.5 billion miles in 2011, which is a nearly one percent (0.91%) increase. In addition, the average Wisconsin resident traveled 10,337 miles in 2012, representing a 0.7% increase over 2011.
VMT is a commonly used measure of highway use and demand, and is calculated by combining data on statewide fuel consumption, average gas mileage and traffic count information.
Traffic forecasting officials at WisDOT credit the VMT increase to more commercial vehicles traveling Wisconsin roads and a stronger economy. An increase in the state’s population is also a contributing factor in the 2012 reporting.
Last year, Milwaukee County had the highest VMT (more than 5.9 billion miles); followed by Dane County (just over 5 billion miles); and Waukesha County (approximately 3.9 billion miles).
Wisconsin has about 113,000 miles of total roadway. The State Highway System (federal, state and interstate highways) accounts for about 12,000 miles of the overall roadway network, but carries more than 60 percent of the total traffic load. In addition, Wisconsin is home to about 5.5 million registered vehicles and more than four million licensed drivers.
For more information on Wisconsin’s 2012 VMT data, including a county by county breakdown, visit the WisDOT web site: www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/counts/vmt.htm.