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According to the newly released 2017 National Household Travel Survey, the average light vehicle occupancy in 2017 was 1.67, unchanged from 2009. By vehicle type, cars and pickups remained nearly the same, while vans and motorcycles had higher occupancy in 2017 than in 2009. The occupancy rate for vans has increased from 2.07 in 1995 to 2.44 in 2017. Vans were the only category with an occupancy rate higher than two. The only category that had a lower occupancy rate in 2017 was sport utility vehicles.

Average Vehicle Occupancy by Vehicle Type (car, van, sport utility, pickup, and motorcycle) in 1995, 2009, and 2017.

Note: Average vehicle occupancy is mileage-weighted.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, National Household Travel Survey website, accessed June 6, 2018.

Fact #1040 Dataset

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