TABLE 1 Transportation Data Users and Their Needs

TABLE 1 Transportation Data Users and Their Needs

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Category of user Who the users are What the data are used for
Policymakers Congress; officials of the U.S. Department of Transportation and other Executive Branch agencies; state and local agencies; metropolitan planning organizations; port authorities Safety regulation, security, congestion analysis, international trade and travel, environmental issues, economic impact and cost-benefit analyses, modal choice issues (e.g., cost allocation studies and analysis of factors affecting modal choice), competition analysis (e.g., market share and effects on prices)
Planners Transportation infrastructure planners at all levels of government; private sector officials; environmental, economic development, and emergency response planners Forecasting regional or national freight and passenger travel demand and its effects on and need for public or private infrastructure, effects of transportation on the environment and the economy, national security issues, performance planning and budgeting
Shippers, operators, carriers, intermediaries, and transportation equipment manufacturers Public sector authorities responsible for transit and ports; private sector businesses Planning for infrastructure needs, tracking vehicle or cargo location, planning for service offerings or marketing initiatives, understanding market potential, understanding commodity movements and passenger flows
Transportation regulators Government officials; private security organizations Allocating enforcement resources; ensuring the safety and integrity of the transportation system
Researchers and consultants Academics; private consultants To support research in the public and private sector
News media Reporters Various interests of broad concern (e.g., hazardous materials spills, congestion, and infrastructure condition)
General public Individuals and organizations Travel planning; identifying and rectifying local, regional, and national transportation issues