The headline stat comes from a recent Wonkblog post.
Washington state experienced "peak car travel" all the way back in 1992, and Nevada, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, Rhode Island and Virginia all did before the new millennium. By this measure, peak car happened in D.C. in 1996.
Jonathan Krall builds on the same idea - that the transportation future is chaging - is a recent arrticle on the future of driving in Alexandria.
Census data for Alexandria shows this trend for daily commuting. The percentage of workers who “drive alone” fell from 65 to 58 from 2005-2013, the time period for which this yearly data is easily available, while “public transit” held steady at about 21%. Everything else, walking, bicycling, car pools, telework, etc., is increasing. Nationally, “peak car” occurred in 2005.
The auto-oriented population is aging and shrinking. The peak demographic for new car sales, 35-44 in 2009, jumped to 55-64 in 2013. Services such as Uber and Capital Bikeshare support a culture that places less value on the freedom of driving.