The Bureau of Transportation Statistics - the federal statistical agency for the Department of Transportation charged with improving the knowledge base for public decision making - coordinates the Omnibus Survey program. The survey is a ONEDOT effort to collect information about the transportation system, how it is used, and how it is viewed by the users.
BTS gathers data each month on a random basis from 1,000 households to determine the general public's satisfaction with the nation's transportation system and to prioritize improvements to the transportation system. This survey is intended to measure Americans' satisfaction with the transportation system and the Department of Transportation. It is not intended nor designed to measure characteristics of the transportation system. The data concerning characteristics of transportation are collected to enhance understanding of the customer satisfaction measures and the concerns respondents express regarding the transportation system.
Estimates such as the number of Americans traveling by air, the availability of public transportation, use of car pools, and the like may not match data from other sources because of sampling variability and methodological limitations of the survey. For example, the survey covers only people in households with a telephone, so characteristics related to the lack of a telephone will be estimated with imperfect accuracy. For example, estimates of households having no licensed motor vehicles are likely understated because the sample does not include households without telephones. Analyses and conclusions are based on the 95-percent level of confidence. Where appropriate, the margin of error for each value is presented in parenthesis.
Another source of possible disagreement with other estimates occurs because the Omnibus survey does not use official definitions of transportation concepts in the interview. Due to time constraints, the survey often provides no definitions, but allows the respondent to interpret terminology in the question. Estimates based on respondent reports from the Omnibus Survey could differ from estimates obtained through different methods. For example, when the Omnibus asks respondents about the availability of public transportation, it does not specify, "within a quarter mile." Nor does it define "public transportation." Without precise definitions, respondents may consider charter buses, for example, to be "public transportation."
The findings provided by the Omnibus Survey program will provide a valuable framework for the Secretary and senior officials in DOT operating administrations to make measurable improvements in our transportation system, the security of our nation, and the quality of American life.
Omnibus Survey Program
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
US Department of Transportation
Office of Statistical Programs
Hossain E. Sanjani
Office of Survey Programs
This report on the December Household Survey of the Omnibus Survey Program summarizes the major findings of the survey. More detailed results and the data are available on the BTS Omnibus website at www.bts.gov/omnibus. Each month the survey contains a set of core questions about transportation system use and levels of satisfaction with DOT, thus allowing for the identification of monthly trends. Each month the survey also contains questions posed by the various operating administrations within the Department. Finally, each month the survey asks questions relating to one of DOT's strategic goals. This month the Household Survey asked questions about transportation safety.
|Mode of Transportation||Percent of Americans Using||Margin of Error (percent)|
|Driving alone in a private vehicle||90||4.1|
|Traveling with others in a private vehicle||66||5.1|
|Public Transportation: local public bus, subway, or commuter rail||14||6.2|
|Taxi, limousine, or shuttle service||12||4.0|
|Organized car pool or van pool||9||2.2|
|Private or charter airplane||2||0.3|
|Commercial boat ship or ferry||1||0.3|
The following tables show the percent of adult population who used the transportation system in the last 30 days
|Mode of transportation||Total number (millions)||Percent who used mode in last 30 days by number of times used|
|1 or 2 times||3 to 5 times||6 to 10 times||More than 10 times|
|Drive alone in private vehicle||179.6||2.2%||4.9%||7.4%||85.5%|
|Drive or ride with others||131.3||16.1%||23.2%||19.8%||40.9%|
|Local bus, subway rail||28.1||38.0%||20.3%||7.4%||34.2%|
|Taxi, limo or shuttle||23.1||52.3%||27.4%||14.5%||5.8%|
|Car pool or van pool||17.2||24.4%||16.0%||9.8%||49.8%|
|Private or charter airplane||3.1||76.8%||21.1%||-||2.1%|