The Associated Press: Vehicle Miles Traveled – Mobility Data
Data to track county level vehicle activity as states reopen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic
Data shows that mobility declined nationally since states and localities began shelter-in-place strategies to stem the spread of COVID-19. The numbers began climbing as more people ventured out and traveled further from their homes, but in parallel with the rise of COVID-19 cases in July, travel declined again.
This distribution contains county level data for vehicle miles traveled (VMT) from StreetLight Data, Inc, updated three times a week. This data offers a detailed look at estimates of how much people are moving around in each county.
Data available has a two day lag – the most recent data is from two days prior to the update date. Going forward, this dataset will be updated by AP at 3:30pm ET on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week.
ABOUT THIS DATA
The county level data is provided by StreetLight Data, Inc, a transportation analysis firm that measures travel patterns across the U.S.. The data is from their Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Monitor which uses anonymized and aggregated data from smartphones and other GPS-enabled devices to provide county-by-county VMT metrics for more than 3,100 counties. The VMT Monitor provides an estimate of total vehicle miles travelled by residents of each county, each day since the COVID-19 crisis began (March 1, 2020), as well as a change from the baseline average daily VMT calculated for January 2020. Additional columns are calculations by AP.
Tables in dataset:
– VMT Nation – Data summarized to provide a nationwide look at vehicle miles traveled
– VMT State – Data summarized to provide a state level look at vehicle miles traveled
– VMT County – Data providing a county level look at vehicle miles traveled
Sample fields include:
– Daily VMT
– Baseline VMT (data from January 2020)
– % Change from baseline
– Mean: 7 day average of daily VMT
USING THE DATA
This data can help put your county’s mobility in context with your state and over time. The data set contains different measures of change – daily comparisons and seven day rolling averages. The rolling average allows for a smoother trend line for comparison across counties and states. To get the full picture, there are also two available baselines – vehicle miles traveled in January 2020 (pre-pandemic) and vehicle miles traveled at each geography’s low point during the pandemic.
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