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Omnibus Survey Household Survey Results Summary Report November 2000

Omnibus Survey
Household Survey Results
Summary Report
November 2000

Introduction

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics - the federal statistical agency for the Department of Transportation charged with improving the knowledge base for public decision making - is coordinating 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 is gathering 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. Each month the survey contains a set of core questions about transportation system use, as well as questions posed by the various operating administrations within the Department. Finally, each month the survey asks questions relating to one of the following DOT strategic goals: safety, mobility, human and natural environment, or national security.

These monthly surveys are designed to measure Americans' satisfaction with the transportation system and the Department of Transportation. They are 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. 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.

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.

For More Information

Omnibus Survey Program
Office of Statistical Programs
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
US Department of Transportation

Sharon Durant
(202) 366-0649
Sharon.Durant@bts.gov

John Bushery
(202) 493-0360
John.Bushery@bts.gov

Elizabeth Grossman
(202) 366-2087
Elizabeth.Grossman@bts.gov

Major Findings

In November the Omnibus Household Survey focused on national security. This report 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.

Transportation System User Trends

  • Approximately 85 million Americans have flown as passengers on a commercial airline since November 1999. More than one-third (39 percent) of these have taken three or more personal or business trips during this period.

National Security

  • The transport of illegal drugs across U.S. borders is of concern to 87 percent of Americans. Sixty-two percent are dissatisfied with the Federal government's efforts to address this issue.
  • Keeping computerized systems like the air traffic control system secure from terrorism is another national security issue of concern to more than 80 percent of the public. Similarly, the risk of terrorism against Americans traveling by air outside the U.S. is of almost equal concern. Unlike the transport of illegal drugs across U.S. borders, however, Americans are far more satisfied with the Federal government's efforts to address these issues. Only 23 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the Federal government's efforts to keep computerized systems like the air traffic control system secure from terrorism, while only 30 percent are dissatisfied with the Federal government's efforts to address the risk of terrorism against Americans traveling by air outside the U.S.
  • Forty-one percent of Americans are likely to change their regular means of travel in response to acts of terrorism around the country. Approximately the same proportion, 42 percent, are unlikely to do so.
  • Among those Americans who have flown as passengers on a commercial airline since November 1999, 43 percent would not change their air travel habits if a terrorist act against an airline were to take place in the U.S. Thirty-nine percent would stop traveling by air for at least some period of time if a terrorist act took place in the U.S. against any airline.
  • Just over half of all Americans, 56 percent, are concerned about the risk of terrorism against Americans traveling by highway, train or public transit inside the U.S. Among those who have not driven alone in a private vehicle in the past 30 days, 72 percent are concerned about this risk while only 45 percent of those who have ridden a bicycle in the past thirty days are concerned.

Seat Belt Use

  • Four out of every five Americans have seen or heard messages on TV, radio, billboards, etc. encouraging people to wear their seat belts in the past 30 days.
  • Approximately 30 percent of Americans have seen or heard of special efforts by police to ticket drivers in their community for seat belt violations in the past 30 days. A similar proportion have seen or heard of special efforts by police to ticket drivers in their community for failing to restrain children in seat belts or car seats in the past 30 days.
  • Ninety percent of Americans agree or strongly agree that it is important for police to enforce the seat belt laws. The same proportion agree or strongly agree that police in their community are writing more seat belt tickets now than they were a few months ago.
  • Among those who have driven alone in the past 30 days, almost 60 percent think it is somewhat or very likely they would receive a ticket for not wearing a seat belt if they were to drive over the next six months and never use their seat belt.

Railroad Crossing Safety

  • More than 38 percent of the public received information regarding how to safely cross railroad crossings from public service announcements or safety campaigns in television, radio, or magazine advertisements. Thirty-one percent of the public received such information during driving safety class.

Transportation User Trends

The following tables show the percent of adult population who used the transportation system in the last 30 days

Private Vehicle. If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance.Public Transportation.  If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance.Intercity Bus.  If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance.Intercity Train.  If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance.Taxi, Limousine or Shuttle Service.  If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance. Airplane.  If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance.Commercial Boat, Ship or Ferry.  If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance.Recreational Boat.  If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance.Bicycle.  If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance.

Frequency of Transportation Use in Last 30 Days - November

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 178.6  2.1%  6.1%  6.8% 85.0%
Drive or ride with others 132.8 15.2% 23.9% 18.8% 42.1%
Bicycle  33.5 36.4% 33.2% 10.1% 20.2%
Local bus, subway rail  27.7 33.2% 28.6%  7.9% 30.4%
Taxi, limo or shuttle  24.3 59.5% 24.7%  8.3%  7.5%
Commercial airliner  22.4 72.3% 17.5%  7.4%  2.9%
Car pool or van pool  18.0 19.9% 33.7%  6.0% 40.5%
Recreational boat  10.5 58.9% 23.7% 12.0%  5.4%
Intercity train   6.0 49.0% 38.3%  8.3%  4.4%
Intercity bus   4.8 81.0% 18.0% -  1.0%
Commercial boat   4.3 68.1% 19.3%  3.5%  9.0%
Private or charter airplane   3.8 66.3% 33.7% - -
National Security Issues: Concerns and Satisfaction.  If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance.
National Security Issues: Views of Possible Threats to the Transportation System.  If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance.