Summary

Summary

This edition of the Transportation Statistics Annual Report (TSAR) presents selected transportation data on topics specified in the legislative mandate of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (RITA/BTS). The data, presented in chapter 2 and summarized here, are grouped under headings that correspond to the U.S. Department of Transportation's strategic goals and the Transportation Vision for 20301. The discussion begins with context information about the extent and condition of the transportation system, vehicle characteristics, and traffic flows. In most cases, the data cover the 10 most recent years for which data are available. An appendix provides information on U.S. population, labor force, and economic conditions-variables that influence travel behavior and goods movement. Maps showing safety belt laws and use, per capita transportation revenues, and vehicle miles of travel (VMT) are also included in the appendix.

The legislative mandate, SAFETEA-LU2, also requires RITA/BTS to make recommendations for improving transportation statistical information and to document methods used to obtain and ensure the quality of the report's statistics. These two subjects are discussed in chapter 3. The focus for improvements is on data gaps, including gaps that may arise because of suspension of several data collection efforts. The chapter also discusses methodological guidelines that apply to federal data quality; documentation on specific data accompanies each table in chapter 2.

For the reader's convenience, the following table lists each of the topics covered by this report in the order of their appearance in the law. Congress modified and expanded this list in its 2005 establishment of RITA and the reauthorization of BTS.

1 U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Transportation Vision for 2030, Washington DC, January 2008.

2 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: a Legacy for Users. 49 U-S-C-111.

Data Reporting Requirements in 49 U.S.C. 111(c)(5)

Subsection Topic
A Productivity in various parts of the transportation sector
B Traffic flows for all modes of transportation
C Other elements of the Intermodal Transportation Database established under subsection (e) of 49 U.S.C. 111
D Travel times and measures of congestion
E Vehicle weights and other vehicle characteristics
F Demographic, economic, and other variables influencing traveling behavior, (including choice of transportation mode) and goods movement
G Transportation costs for passenger travel and goods movement
H Availability and use of mass transit (including number of passengers served by each mass transit authority) and other forms of for-hire passenger travel
I Frequency of vehicle and transportation facility repairs and other interruptions of transportation service
J Safety and security for travelers, vehicles, and transportation systems
K Consequences of transportation for the human and natural environment
L The extent, connectivity, and condition of the transportation system, building on the National Transportation Atlas Database developed under subsection (g) of 49 U.S.C. 111
M Transportation-related variables that influence the domestic economy and global competitiveness.