Scheduled Intercity Transportation and the U.S. Rural Population - Poster

Scheduled Intercity Transportation and the U.S. Rural Population - Poster

Nearly 93 percent of the 82 million rural residents of the United States live within the service area of at least 1 commercial intercity transportation mode (bus, air, rail, or interstate ferry ).1 Nearly six million rural residents live outside of the service areas of all three intercity modes. Connecticut , Delaware , Massachusetts , New Jersey , and Rhode Island are the only states in which every resident lives within the service area of at least one mode.

What is a "transportation service area?" A Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) 2005 study defines it as the 25-mile area surrounding a nonhub or small hub airport, an intercity rail station, intercity bus terminal, or interstate ferry terminal . For large or medium hub airports, a 75-mile area was used. The study found:

  • Intercity bus service reaches 89 percent ( 73 million) of the rural population and is the sole mode for 13 million people.2
  • Scheduled airline service reaches 71 percent (58 million) of the rural population and is the only mode for nearly three million rural residents.
  • Scheduled intercity passenger rail service reaches 42 percent (35 million) and is the sole mode for nearly 350,000 people.3
  • Thirty-five (35) percent (29 million) of the rural population live within the service area of the three major intercity modes (air, rail, and bus).

A series of maps showing the locations of intercity transportation facilities across the United States by mode accompanies this study. The maps show the proximity of those facilities to rural areas.

1 The only interstate ferry service considered for purposes of this study is the Alaska Marine Highway System which provides year-round service at 31 Alaska port cities and at Bellingham, Washington.

2 There is no scheduled intercity bus service in Hawaii.

3 There is no scheduled intercity rail service in Hawaii.