THE 1979 GASOLINE SHORTAGE: IMPACT ON TRAVEL IN THE BALTIMORE REGION

This report describes the effects of the 1979 gasoline shortage on travel in the Baltimore area and compares them with those of the 1973-74 shortage. The 1974 episode lasted longer; but 1979 was more severe in terms of the reduction in gasoline sales, perhaps because the shortage occurred during the summer. However, duration of a gasoline shortage seems to influence the permanence of its effects. Shifts in travel behavior were far more temporary in 1979 than in 1974. As in 1974, average daily traffic (ADT) on area roadways was significantly lower (especially on weekends) with a greater decrease on freeways than on arterials. At the same time, bus and commuter rail ridership rose dramatically. The temporary nature of these changes may be accounted for by the fact that, while the price of gasoline increased 126% between 1973 and 1979, the actual cost of traveling one mile, when corrected for inflation and improved gasoline mileage, only increased 28% during that period. Thus, fuel prices have not increased enough to influence travel behavior more than fuel availability.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Regional Planning Council

    2225 North Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD  United States  21218
  • Authors:
    • Goodman, C R
  • Publication Date: 1980-2

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 26 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00315322
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Transp Tech Memo 39
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 27 1980 12:00AM