The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has taken a significant step forward in electronic government with the unveiling of TranStats, a new website providing one-stop data shopping through access to more than 100 transportation-related databases.
Unveiled to the public on September 16th, TranStats is a website for transportation researchers and analysts aimed at providing “one-stop shopping” for transportation data. The premise is fairly simple—by reducing the time needed for data gathering, more time is available for analysis. And by providing easy linkages across many data sets, TranStats can help achieve new insights. Ultimately, this should result in more timely and more informed decisions, and a better transportation system.
TranStats' ultimate goal is to make the latest transportation data available to the entire transportation community, thereby creating a better transportation system for everyone.
Up to now, the process of compiling data to analyze a problem commonly involved searching for data sources, contacting data providers to get the data, often repeated contacts to get more information about the data, then sorting through that data and integrating more data from other sources for analysis. This can be a very labor-intensive process, often taking months. TranStats is an electronic government initiative aimed at streamlining this whole process.
TranStats offers analysts several unique features:
Users can explore the data by transportation mode or by subject area, use keyword searches to find relevant data sets, and get online help. Because all the data in TranStats are indexed with a transportation thesaurus, links to other transportation research are easy through the National Transportation Library.