Summary

Summary

The Transportation Statistics Annual Report (TSAR) presents data and information compiled by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a component of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT's) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), to fulfill its legislative mandate. The RITA/BTS mandate covers all modes of transportation and calls for the collection and analysis of transportation data on topics relevant to USDOT's strategic goals.1

BTS serves as the lead Federal statistical agency for transportation data and statistics. BTS coordinates efforts with the USDOT administrations2 to monitor the U.S. transportation system's performance and its impacts. In addition, BTS works closely with other Federal statistical agencies, State and local governments, local transit agencies, trade associations, and the transportation industry.

The Annual Highlights section focuses on recent USDOT efforts to collect, compile, analyze, and publish transportation data and analysis. Such efforts include the following:

  • the Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation,
  • Livable Communities and Environmental Sustainability highlights from the Omnibus Household Survey, and
  • Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) data and analysis on Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) shipments.3

In addition, this section reviews commercial aviation and the airline industry reported by BTS through its Office of Airline Information (OAI).

BTS has organized chapters in the U.S. Transportation System section by the topics relevant to the USDOT's strategic goals, including: promoting safety, building livable communities, improving the state of good repair, fostering economic competitiveness, and supporting environmental sustainability of the U.S. transportation system.

In the Improving Transportation Statistics section, BTS documents the methods used to obtain the report's statistical information, ensure its quality, and make recommendations for improving transportation statistics. The major BTS program areas respond to this requirement by identifying the guidelines that apply to Federal data quality and the statistics included in this report. In this section, BTS lists the select Federal agencies that collect or compile transportation data and statistics. In addition, this section focuses on data gaps and improving methods for collecting, compiling, analyzing, and publishing transportation statistics.

Appendix A provides a snapshot of the U.S. demographics factors–such as population, labor force, and economic conditions–that influence travel patterns and movement of goods. Appendix B includes a list of acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms used throughout the report. Appendix C provides a glossary. Appendix D cross-references the topics specified in our legislative mandate with the figures and tables presented in this report. Appendix E provides a list of the data and statistics found in the online National Transportation Statistics. Appendix F provides a list of the figures and data tables provided by the online Key Transportation Indicators.

1 U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Research Activities of the Department of Transportation: A Report to Congress (March 2005), which is available at http://www.rita.dot.gov/publications/research_activities_of_the_department_of_transportation_a_report_to_congress/ as of August 2010.

2 For additional information on the USDOT administration's roles and responsibilities, please visit the USDOT agencies webpage at http://www.dot.gov/dotagencies.htm as of January 2011.

3 The Commodity Flow Survey is a source of domestic freight shipments by establishments in the mining, manufacturing, wholesale, auxiliaries, and selected retail industries. The CFS provides data on the types, origins and destinations, values, weights, mode of transportation, distance, and ton-miles of the commodities shipped. The CFS is a survey given to shippers every 5 years as part of the Economic Census. The CFS was conducted in 1993, 1997, 2002, and, most recently, 2007.