Summary

Photograph of bald eagle in flight over water, with a bridge in the background

Summary

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) presents the sixth Transportation Statistics Annual Report. Mandated by Congress, the report discusses the U.S. transportation system, including its physical components, economic performance, safety record, and related energy and environmental impacts. It also assesses the state of transportation statistics.

Extent and Condition of the U.S. Transportation System

The nation’s inventory of transportation infrastructure and vehicles shows a continuing trend of expansion and improvement, although a few exceptions exist. From 1987 to 1997, public road mileage increased by less than 2 percent, and the percentage of paved roadway increased from 56 percent to 61 percent. Surface roughness measurements indicate that the conditions of most roadways are improving. Likewise, the percentage of bridges classified as functionally and/or structurally obsolete decreased noticeably since 1990, dropping from 41 percent to 30 percent.

The nation’s highway vehicle fleet consisted of about 212 million vehicles in 1997, nearly 28 million more vehicles than a decade earlier. Of special note has been the dramatic growth in the number of sport utility vehicles and other light trucks. This segment of the fleet increased from 41 million vehicles in 1987 to over 70 million in 1997, accounting for 33 percent of the fleet. Still, passenger cars accounted for over 61 percent of the total highway fleet (nearly 130 million vehicles), despite a 5 million vehicle decrease in the number of automobiles over the past decade. Large trucks and buses show a more moderate increase.

In 1997, there were 9 Class I freight railroads (railroads with at least $256 million in operating revenues) in the United States, 34 regional railroads, and 507 local railroads. The railroad industry operated over 170,000 miles of track, over 70 percent of which was operated by Class I railroads. Since 1980, Class I traffic, measured in ton-miles, increased by 47 percent, while miles of road owned declined by 38 percent due to the sale of track to smaller railroads and abandonment. In the case of passenger rail, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, better known as Amtrak, operated more than 250 intercity trains per day, along a 22,000 mile network in 44 states with service to 500 communities in fiscal year (FY) 1998.

In 1997, the United States had 18,345 airports, a 20 percent increase compared with 1980. The increase was due to the addition of more than 3,200 general aviation airports. The number of airports served by certificated aircraft decreased from 730 to 660. The condition of runway surfaces improved overall, especially at airports not regularly served by commercial carriers. (Runway surface conditions at commercial carrier airports were generally in better condition than those at airports not served by commercial carriers.)

The number of certificated aircraft in operation grew steadily, increasing to more than 7,600 in 1997 (excluding air taxi aircraft operated in nonscheduled service). This represents a 4 percent increase over 1992, which is the first year for which a comprehensive commercial aircraft inventory is available. More than 190,000 general aviation aircraft were reported active in 1997, 60 percent of which were flown primarily for personal use. In 1997, there were 91 air carriers (both passenger and freight) operating in the United States.

The number of both commercial and recreational boats continued to increase in 1997. The U.S.-flag commercial vessel fleet was over 41,400 in 1997 compared with 38,800 in 1980. Approximately 12.3 million recreational boats were registered in the United States in 1997 compared with 10 million in 1987, representing a 23 percent increase in registered recreational watercraft during that decade.

In 1997, the nation’s waterborne commerce was handled by 3,726 public marine terminals. These terminals were about equally divided among deep-draft (ocean and Great Lake) and shallow-draft (inland waterway) facilities. Most inland facilities (86 percent) were used for transporting bulk commodities, while coastal facilities were more evenly divided between bulk commodities and general cargo—about 41 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

Over the next few years, coastal ports may face the challenge of handling the next generation of containerships that have the capacity of 4,500 20-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) or more and drafts of 40 to 46 feet when fully loaded. Only 5 of the top 15 U.S. container ports—Baltimore, Tacoma, Hampton Roads, Long Beach, and Seattle—currently have adequate channel depths, and only those on the west coast have adequate berth depths to accommodate these vessels. In addition, ports may need to expand terminal infrastructure and improve rail and highway connections to facilitate the increased volumes of cargo from these ships. Many ports have already initiated expansion projects to accommodate these ships. How effectively U.S. ports handle this next generation of containerships will have implications for the efficiency of the U.S. transportation system and U.S. trade competitiveness.

Oil and gas pipeline mileage remained relatively constant in the 1990s. Because comprehensive oil and gas pipeline data are not available, an accurate assessment of total mileage does not currently exist. Current efforts to develop geographic information systems on liquid and natural gas networks may narrow this data gap.

In 1997, there were 556 federally assisted transit agencies urbanized areas, operating more than 76,000 vehicles and providing 8 billion passenger trips. Most transit trips and passenger-miles are on buses and demand responsive vehicles, which account for three-quarters of all transit vehicles. Federally assisted mass transit infrastructure increased modestly during the 1992 to 1997 period. Increases in new fixed-guideway mileage (both rail and nonrail) are evident. In particular, exclusive and access-controlled bus lanes covered 60 percent more route-miles in 1997 than in 1992. Fixed-guideway mileage increased by 21 percent from 1992 to 1997, reaching 10,800 directional route-miles. Directional route mileage for buses operating on mixed rights-of-way, however, fluctuated from year to year between 1992 and 1997, with no evident pattern of growth or decline.

The mass transit vehicle fleet grew between 1992 and 1997, primarily due to increases in vehicles used in demand responsive service and vanpools. Over three-quarters of vehicles operated by federally assisted transit agencies provided service in large urban areas with populations in excess of 1 million people. Buses and demand responsive vehicles accounted for the majority of the fleet—57 percent and 18 percent, respectively—and were more widely used than commuter, light, and heavy rail modes.

Nonfederally assisted transit agencies also provide important services, especially in rural areas. However, information about these services is limited.

Information technologies have long been an important element in the transportation system, especially in the railroad, aviation, and marine modes. In recent years, technological advances have expanded information technology use in all modes, including highways, transit, recreational boating, and general aviation. The use of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) increased primarily in congested urban areas. A survey of the nation’s top 78 urban areas provides baseline data on highway- and transit-related ITS implementation which, when new survey data are obtained, may permit comparison of ITS changes over time. Other advanced technologies such as Global Positioning Systems are also becoming an integral part of the transportation system, being used in air, marine, and land-based transportation modes.

Transportation System Use and Performance

Both freight transportation and passenger travel have grown considerably in recent years. The Commodity Flow Survey (CFS), undertaken by BTS and the Census Bureau, presents the broadest picture of domestic commodity flows. According to preliminary CFS data and additional estimates by BTS, between 1993 and 1997, freight shipments increased about 17 percent by value, 14 percent by tons, and 10 percent by ton-miles. Preliminary BTS estimates also show that nearly 14 billion tons of goods and raw materials, valued at over $8 trillion, moved over the U.S. transportation system in 1997, generating nearly 4 trillion ton-miles. These figures translate into 38 million tons of commodities shipped on the nation’s transportation system on a typical day in 1997.

Most modes showed an increase in ton-miles. Shipments by air (including those involving truck and air) grew 86 percent in ton-miles, followed by parcel, postal, and courier services (41 percent), and truck (26 percent). Rail ton-miles (including truck and rail) increased by only 7 percent, while ton-miles by water decreased by about 3 percent. Nevertheless, trucking (including for-hire and private, and excluding parcel, postal, and courier services) was the mode used most frequently to move the nation’s freight whether measured by value, tons, or ton-miles. Truck shipments accounted for 69 percent of the total value of shipments in 1997 about the same as in 1993. Trucking was followed by parcel, postal, and courier services; rail; pipeline; and air (including truck and air) in 1997.

Although many factors have affected the growth in U.S. freight shipments since 1993, sustained economic growth has been key. Economic growth has been accompanied by expansion of international trade and increases in disposable personal income per capita. Other factors, such as changes in how and where goods are produced, have also contributed to the rise in freight tons and ton-miles over the past few years.

International trade has become an even more integral part of the U.S. economy, as illustrated by the increased value of U.S. merchandise trade. Between 1980 and 1997, the real dollar value of U.S. merchandise trade more than tripled from $496 billion to $1.7 trillion (in chained 1992 dollars). In addition, the ratio of the value of U.S. merchandise trade relative to U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) doubled from about 11 percent in 1980 to 23 percent in 1997. The trade relationship with Canada and Mexico has deepened over this period. In 1997, Canada and Mexico together accounted for 30 percent of all U.S. trade by value, up from 22 percent in 1980. Trade with Asian Pacific countries also grew in importance, so much so that in 1997, 5 Asian countries were among the top 10 U.S. trading partners.

In U.S. international trade, water was the predominant mode in terms of value and tonnage. In 1997, for example, waterborne trade accounted for more than three-quarters of the tonnage and 40 percent of the value of U.S. international trade. However, its share of the value of U.S. international trade declined from 62 percent in 1980. Because of the rise of trade with Asian Pacific countries a relative shift has occurred in freight handling from east coast to west coast ports. Since 1988, foreign trade tonnage moved by water increased by 25 percent while domestic freight tonnage moved by water remained about the same—1.1 billion tons.

Between 1980 and 1997, air freight’s share of the value of U.S. international merchandise trade increased from 16 percent to nearly 28 percent. Commodities that move by air tend to be high in value; air’s share of U.S. international trade by weight was less than 1 percent in 1997.

Passenger travel has grown rapidly in recent decades. In 1995, people averaged about 4.3 one-way trips per day and about 14,100 miles (39 miles per day) per year, up from 2.9 trips and 9,500 miles (26 miles per day) in 1977. Long-distance travel (trips 100 miles or more from home) also increased over this period from 2.5 roundtrips in 1977 to 3.9 in 1995. Several factors account for this increase in travel, including greater labor force participation, income, and vehicle availability, and reduced travel cost.

People travel primarily by personal-use vehicles (PUVs) for both local daily travel and more infrequent long-distance travel. Cars and other PUVs accounted for about 90 percent of local trips and 80 percent of long-distance trips. Bicycling and walking accounted for 6.5 percent of local trips and transit about 4 percent of local trips. Air transportation was the second most popular means of long-distance travel, accounting for 18 percent of trips, with buses about 2 percent and passenger trains about 0.5 percent of intercity trips.

Vehicle-miles traveled (vmt) by cars, trucks, and buses on public roads increased 68 percent between 1980 and 1997, with urban vmt growth outpacing rural vmt 83 percent to 49 percent. One result of this growth has been greater congestion in the nation’s urban areas. According to the Texas Transportation Institute’s (TTI) most recent analysis of urban highway congestion in 70 urban areas, the estimated level of congestion declined in only two—Phoenix and Houston—between 1982 and 1996. Congestion in most other urban areas increased, dramatically in some instances. According to TTI, the number of urban areas in the study experiencing unacceptable congestion rose from 10 of the 70 in 1982 to 39 in 1996, with the average roadway congestion index rising about 25 percent from 0.91 to 1.14. An index of 1.00 or greater was selected as the threshold for unacceptable congestion.

In the 1980s and 1990s, air travel also grew dramatically. Domestic and international passenger enplanements at U.S. airports increased from 302 million in 1980 to 575 million in 1997. On-time performance decreased only slightly since the early 1990s. The percentage of passengers denied boarding (i.e., “bumped” from flights because seats were oversold by the airline) on the 10 largest U.S. air carriers has risen appreciably since 1993 from 683,000 (0.15 percent of boardings) to 1.1 million passengers (0.21 percent of boardings) in 1997. While the percentage of mishandled baggage has declined steadily since 1992, the total number of consumer complaints against major air carriers received by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) increased in 1997 for the second year in a row after several years of decline. In 1997, 86 out of every 1 million persons enplaned on a major airline registered a complaint with DOT, the highest rate since 1993.

Transit ridership remained relatively constant between 1987 and 1997 with 7.85 million unlinked trips in 1987 compared with 7.98 million in 1997, while miles traveled increased from about 36 billion to 40 billion. Riders on buses and heavy rail constitute the majority of transit users, but ridership stagnated over this period, while the number of riders on other modes—especially demand responsive service, light rail, and ferries—increased markedly. Ridership on commuter rail increased by a moderate amount. The performance and general quality of transit service in the United States seems to be improving, at least for federally subsidized transit, which accounts for approximately 90 to 95 percent of total transit passenger-miles.

While freight rail traffic increased, passenger rail traffic remained relatively constant. There were 20.2 million Amtrak passengers in FY 1997, about the same as the number in FY 1987.

Transportation and the Economy

Measures of transportation’s importance in the growing U.S. economy include the level of transportation-related production and consumption of goods and services, household spending, wages and salaries, and government revenues and expenditures.

In 1997, transportation-related goods and services contributed $905 billion, or about 11 percent, to U.S. GDP.(Figure 1) This is the broadest measure of transportation’s contribution to GDP. Transportation continued to rank fourth, after housing, health care, and food, in terms of societal demand for goods and services.

A narrower measure of transportation’s economic role is the value-added by transportation services, both for-hire and in-house. This measure includes only those services that move people and goods on the transportation system. In 1997, the for-hire transportation industry, together with warehousing, contributed $255 billion to the U.S. economy.

The contribution of transportation services conducted by nontransportation industries (in-house transportation) to GDP are calculated using the Transportation Satellite Accounts. According to a recent BTS report, Transportation Satellite Accounts: A New Way of Measuring Transportation Services in America, in-house transportation services contributed $121 billion in 1992, the most recent year analyzed.

Household expenditures also indicate the importance of transportation in the U.S. economy. In 1996, households spent, on average, $6,400 on transportation, which is about 17 percent of total expenditures. Vehicle purchases were the largest component of these expenditures. In 1996, southern and rural households spent more than 50 percent of their transportation budgets on purchasing new and used vehicles—more than other regions and urban households.

In terms of employment, the for-hire transportation industry’s share of total employment changed little from 1990 to 1997, hovering around 3 percent of the total U.S. civilian labor force. The largest portion of for-hire transportation industry employment in 1997 was in the trucking and warehousing group (41 percent), but the group’s annual growth rate was not as large as that of other modes such as transit. Also, trucking and warehousing had the largest share of the for-hire transportation industry’s total wages and salaries in 1997, but the air transportation industry’s share increased more dramatically. Similarly, truck drivers accounted for the largest percentage of transportation occupations in 1997 (67.8 percent), which was a slightly lower share than throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Occupations in the air mode experienced the fastest growth (12.4 percent gain) in 1997.

Based on limited data on transportation occupational wages and salaries, airline pilots and navigators were paid the most in 1997 (although earnings declined from the past year), while bus and taxi drivers were paid the least.

Labor productivity—the relationship between ton-miles or passenger-miles to number of employees or employee-hours—varied by transportation modes. In the railroad industry, labor productivity (measured by an index of passenger-miles, freight ton-miles, revenue, and other factors) went up between 1990 and 1996 by a total of 44.5 percent, which was faster than the petroleum pipeline industry (36.1 percent), the air transportation industry (both passenger and freight—19.5 percent), and the trucking industry (17.7 percent).

All levels of government benefit from revenues received from transportation. Transportation revenue growth fluctuated considerably over the past decade, but increased in constant dollars from $83.5 billion in FY 1994 to $86.7 billion in FY 1995. States generated nearly one-half of total government transportation revenues in 1995, followed by the federal government (32 percent) and local governments (20 percent). Highways generated $66.74 billion (current dollars) or 71 percent in 1995. Fuels taxes are an important source of highway revenue, accounting for 85.8 percent of the Highway Trust Fund and 60 percent of state highway revenues in 1995.

Government also contributed to transportation’s role in the economy through public expenditures, including capital investment. All levels of government spent a total of $129.3 billion (current dollars) on all modes of transportation in 1995. State and local governments spent about 69 percent of total government transportation expenditures.

As in past years, more government funds were spent on highways than on all other transportation modes combined. In 1995, highway spending was $79.2 billion, about 61 percent of total government expenditures, while transit received about 20 percent. State and local governments continued to spend more on highways, transit, and pipelines, while the federal government spent more on air, water, and rail. In 1995, highways also continued to receive most (71 percent) of the $60.6 billion capital investment made by governments for infrastructure and equipment, a sum that is nearly half of all government expenditures. In 1996, transportation infrastructure capital stock in highways and streets was worth $1.3 trillion, nearly all owned by state and local governments.

Transportation Safety

Thanks to technological innovations, educational campaigns, and diligent enforcement efforts, the United States has made tremendous progress in transportation safety, especially in the last three decades. Despite all of these activities, work still remains. More than 44,000 people died in transportation incidents during 1997, equivalent to the population of a large suburban town. The number one goal of the Department of Transportation is to reduce this total in the years ahead.

Data show that the nation’s highways and roads still account for 95 percent of all fatalities, although the rate of fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled has shown clear improvement over the past 25 years. In 1975, there were 3.4 motor vehicle-related fatalities per 100 million vmt, while in 1998 there were 1.6 fatalities per 100 million vmt. The rate shows only modest improvement in the 1990s, however. These figures include occupants of all types of highway vehicles and nonoccupants (e.g., pedestrians) as well.(Figure 2) Ironically, media attention tends to focus on the much more infrequent air disasters. Worth noting is that 1998 marked the first year on record in which there were no onboard fatalities involving large, U.S.-flag air carriers.

Transportation, by its very nature, provides enhanced opportunities but also risks to those who travel, including pedestrians and bicyclists. In 1997, more than 5,300 pedestrians were killed in collisions involving motor vehicles. A high percentage of pedestrian fatalities were children, the elderly, people who walk after dark, and intoxicated individuals. In 1997, 814 bicyclists or pedalcyclists died and 58,000 were injured in traffic crashes with motor vehicles.

Despite our growing knowledge about transportation safety, there are still many unmet data needs, such as risk exposure measures for water and pipeline transportation. Even for highway exposure, the accuracy of vmt is unclear. To gain a deeper understanding of safety, exposure measures are needed for specific populations such as the elderly, as well as for specific conditions such as adverse weather.

Outcome data also need improvement. Statistics for fatalities, injuries, crashes, and property damages should be in a clear, easy-to-understand formats, distinguishing occupants from nonoccupants, and transportation incidents from nontransportation incidents. Ideally, all modes would have reporting frameworks, including definitions, measures, and explanatory text, that enable quick comparisons across transportation types. With increasing international motorization and globalization, the United States also needs to work with safety officials in other countries to develop statistics that permit valid comparisons across countries. In this manner, a robust stock of information about specific risk factors, causes, and societal impacts of transportation crashes and incidents can be built.

Energy

Petroleum provides about 97 percent of the transportation sector’s energy requirements. In recent years, the abundance of petroleum supplies and low fuel prices has encouraged consumption and led to increased imports and greater dependence on foreign oil. The volume of imported oil exceeded domestic production in 1997, the first time in U.S. history.

Highway vehicles accounted for about 80 percent of total transportation energy use in 1997. Average fuel economy for the new passenger car fleet has ranged from 27.9 miles per gallon to 28.8 miles per gallon since 1988. Efficiency gains have been offset by the increases in the weight and power of passenger cars and shifts to less fuel-efficient vehicles. In 1997, sales of most light-truck classes gained while most automobile classes declined. Light trucks consume more fuel than cars.

Although technologies are available for raising vehicle efficiency further, there is little consumer demand or regulatory incentive for such improvement. Further, oil prices may remain low for a while, at least until Asian economies recover and their demand for oil increases. All these factors make it likely that petroleum consumption will continue to grow. While there is some interest in alternative and replacement fuels and electric vehicles that could reduce air emissions and oil dependence, those options still involve many uncertainties and limitations.

Environment

Serious environmental issues continue to be associated with transportation. The use of petroleum is responsible for most of the environmental problems resulting from transportation, including carbon dioxide emissions that may contribute to global climate change. In 1997, the transportation sector contributed about 26 percent of all U.S. emissions covered by an international agreement, the Kyoto Protocol. If Congress consents to the Protocol, the announced target for the United States will be 7 percent below the 1990 level for six greenhouse gases, averaged over the 2008 to 2012 period. Carbon emissions from automobiles can be limited by improving vehicle efficiency, shifting consumer purchases to favor more efficient cars, using nonfossil fuels, and driving less.

Emissions from mobile sources also continue to be the primary source of air pollutants, as well as a significant source of hazardous toxic releases. Despite rapid growth in vehicle activity over the past two decades, emissions of carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds have declined and lead emissions from gasoline have been eliminated, leading to improved air quality.(Figure 3)

Mobile air conditioning systems in many vehicles emit chlorofluorocarbons and other chemicals that contribute to the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer that protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet rays. Emissions, while declining, are expected to continue for a time because older units that use CFCs as a refrigerant are still in service.

Further, aircraft, particularly during the cruise phase, emit carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and water vapor that have the potential to contribute to global atmospheric problems. Oil and gas pipeline systems also emit criteria and related pollutants that contribute to air pollution. The extent of some of these emissions and their impacts are being studied further.

Other impacts of vehicle travel include the accidents and leaks that result in spills of hazardous materials, such as crude oil and petroleum products. Recent data on oil pollution incidents in U.S. waters show that, despite annual variations, there has been an overall decline since the 1970s.

Noise is an impact of travel that affects many U.S. communities. Various noise standards now apply to different types of vehicles and equipment, and some progress is being made, particularly in addressing aircraft noise. In 1998, there was more than a 4 percent increase over the past year in the number of noise-certified aircraft (Stage 3 fleet mix), thus helping to lessen the noise problem in some communities.

The development of infrastructure for transportation vehicles, including highways, bridges, rail lines and marine ports and terminals, and airports, continues to have impacts on the land and can disrupt or displace people and wildlife. Maintenance and operation of these facilities also generates air and water pollutants, wastes, and noise. One specific problem for ports and navigation channels is the disposal of large volumes of dredged materials—273 million cubic yards from 1993 through 1997—some of it hazardous or toxic.

With the exception of waterway dredging by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, there are no trends data on infrastructure impacts. In addition, data on environmental impacts specific to airports must be aggregated or disaggregated from other sources.

Additional environmental impacts in the form of air and water pollutants and hazardous and nonhazardous solid wastes are associated with the manufacture, maintenance, support, and disposal of vehicles. The transportation equipment industry as a category has been a major contributor to onsite and offsite releases of toxic air pollutants.

To control gasoline evaporative emissions during refueling of vehicles, EPA requires the installation of fuel pumps at dispensing facilities to recover emissions, and vapor recovery systems in new light-duty vehicles. Fuel storage tanks buried underground are also a problem due to leaks and spills. As of 1998, progress has been made in closing tanks and conducting cleanups, although additional cleanup still needs to be done.

State of Transportation Statistics

Although transportation statistics are now more extensive and up-to-date than at any time in the last two decades, major challenges remain in meeting the emerging needs of the information age. The transportation community now requires that statistics be more complete, detailed, timely, and accurate than ever before. Transportation statistics remain incomplete despite major data-collection efforts of the past decade. For example, data have not yet been collected on the domestic movement of commodities traded internationally. The demand for completeness also extends to transportation impacts. These and other data not currently collected could provide valuable insights to decisionmakers at all levels of government.

The demand for detailed information recognizes the importance of geography-specific data in addressing transportation problems, such as congestion, and their effects on people and freight. Timely transportation data are needed to respond to rapidly changing conditions, especially in a global economy.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) reaffirmed the data programs begun under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. It also added several new areas of study, including global competitiveness, the relationships between highway transportation and international trade, bicycle and pedestrian travel, and an accounting of expenditures and capital stocks related to transportation infrastructure.

TEA-21 requires BTS to maintain two databases: The National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD) and the Intermodal Transportation Database (ITDB). NTAD provides information on facilities, services on facilities (e.g., railroad trackage rights), flow over facilities, and background data, such as political boundaries, economic activity, and environmental conditions. The ITDB, when fully developed, will describe the basic mobility provided by the transportation system, identify the denominator for safety rates and environmental emissions, illustrate the links between transportation activity and the economy, and provide a framework for integrating critical data on all aspects of transportation. The ITDB will also provide a framework for identifying and filling data gaps in essential information. One of the biggest gaps involves the domestic transportation of international trade.

TEA-21 and a recent report by the National Research Council Committee on National Statistics emphasized the need to improve transportation data quality and comparability. From the BTS perspective, improving transportation data quality and comparability will require the adoption of common definitions, adherence to good statistical practice, the replacement of questionnaires with unobtrusive methods of data collection, and the validation of statistics used in performance measures and other applications. As part of its effort to improve the quality of statistics, BTS is working with the Federal Highway Administration to coordinate the American Travel Survey and the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey in order to develop better estimates of mid-range travel (30 miles to 99 miles), and improve data comparability and analysis of the continuum of travel from short walking trips to international air travel.

BTS also will continue to work with its partners and customers to ensure that its statistics are relevant for transportation decisionmakers at all levels of government, transportation-related associations, private businesses, and consumers. To further this, BTS cosponsored a national conference on economic data needs and is hosting workshops on transportation safety data needs. In addition, BTS will begin to analyze existing data for the congressionally mandated study of domestic transportation of commodities traded internationally. Furthermore, BTS will continue to participate in the North American Interchange on Transportation Statistics and host working groups on geospatial and maritime data, performance measures, and other topics.