State of Transportation Statistics - Box 2

State of Transportation Statistics - Box 2

Historical Highlights: Transportation Statistics

1887 The Interstate Commerce Commission is established, initiating the collection of data from carriers to support regulation.
1920-1921 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begins publishing data on water transportation commerce and ports.
1934 The Federal-Aid Highway Act authorizes funds to be spent by state highway departments on surveys and economic analyses.
1944-1970 The largest metropolitan areas conduct large-scale studies of urban travel and transportation capacity.
1945 The Bureau of Public Roads (predecessor to the Federal Highway Administration-FHWA) publishes the first Highway Statistics report.
1957-1963 The U.S. Census Bureau initiates the Census of Transportation, including surveys of trucks, unregulated motor carriers, commodity movements, and long-distance passenger travel.
1958 The Federal Aviation Administration Act mandates collection of airline financial and operating statistics.
1960 The U.S. Census Bureau begins to collect journey-to-work data as part of the Decennial Census of Population and Housing.
1962 The Federal-Aid Highway Act establishes a data-rich comprehensive planning process for metropolitan areas.
1966 The Department of Transportation (DOT) Act creates DOT and requires the Secretary of Transportation to ". . . promote and undertake the development, collection, and dissemination of technological, statistical, economic, and other information relevant to domestic and international transportation."
1968 FHWA begins publishing a biennial highway needs report.
1969 FHWA initiates the first Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey. DOT summarizes the state of statistics in Transportation Information: A Report to the Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives, from the Secretary of Transportation (the Red Book). The U.S. Coast Guard initiates the Boating Accident Report Database.
1970-1971 DOT publishes the first edition of National Transportation Statistics. Passage of the National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Air Act highlight the need for environmental data related to transportation. The U.S. Census Bureau significantly expands the content and geographic detail of journey-to-work data collected under the Decennial Census of Population and Housing.
1972-1974 DOT publishes two National Transportation Reports in which data are compiled on all modes.
1973 The U.S. Coast Guard establishes the basis for the Marine Safety Information Management System, which later becomes the Marine Information for Safety in Law Enforcement System, after the Federal Water Pollution Control Act mandates the reporting of any discharge of harmful quantities of oil or hazardous substances.
1974 The National Urban Mass Transportation Assistance Act mandates collection of data on the transit industry under Section 15. Energy data becomes a major concern with the first oil embargo.
1975 The Federal Railroad Administration establishes the Railroad Accident/Incident Reporting System database. The Fatal Accident Reporting System is initiated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a survey of domestic transportation of foreign trade.
1977 A national transportation atlas and DOT National Transportation Report is published under the title Trends and Choices. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the quinquennial Commodity Transportation Survey and National Travel Survey. The Research and Special Programs Administration receives the Hazardous Materials Information System initiated by the DOT's Hazardous Materials Regulations Board in 1971. The Federal Transit Act amendments create the National Transit Database Reporting System on mass transportation financial and operating information.
1978-1980 Aviation, railroads, and motor carriers undergo significant economic deregulation, and many data-collection programs by regulatory agencies are subsequently reduced or terminated.
1979 The National Transportation Policy Study Commission calls for a continuing commitment to the development of transportation statistics.
1982 The U.S. Census Bureau terminates the quinquennial collection of data on commodity flows and passenger travel due to funding and methodological problems.
1990 DOT publishes Moving America: New Directions, New Opportunities-A Statement of National Transportation Policy Strategies for Action, which calls for a renewed commitment to transportation statistics.
1991 The Transportation Research Board completes its recommendations in its report, Data for Decisions: Requirements for National Transportation Policy Making. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) is passed, mandating the establishment of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
1992 FHWA begins work with the U.S. Census Bureau on the Commodity Flow Survey. The DOT management order implementing the ISTEA mandate for BTS is signed in December, and management of the Commodity Flow Survey is transferred to BTS.
1993-1995 BTS and the U.S. Census Bureau conduct the Commodity Flow Survey, the American Travel Survey, and initiate the Transborder Surface Freight Transportation program. BTS publishes its first Transportation Statistics Annual Report and resumes publication of National Transportation Statistics. BTS receives the surviving data functions of the Civil Aeronautics Board.
1996 BTS receives the motor carrier financial and operating statistics program from the Interstate Commerce Commission.
1998 The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) reaffirms BTS's data mandates and adds some new emphases including global competitiveness, bicycle and pedestrian travel, capital stocks accounting, the intermodal transportation database, and the National Transportation Library.
2000 BTS launches the monthly Omnibus Survey. The Changing Face of Transportation, successor to the 1977 Trends and Choices report, is published by DOT. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration receives the Motor Carrier Management Information System from FHWA and continues the publication of motor carrier safety data.
2001-2002 BTS and FHWA jointly conduct the National Household Travel Survey, combining the American Travel and Nationwide Personal Transportation surveys. BTS and the U.S. Census Bureau begin data collection for the next Commodity Flow Survey.