1 - Transportation System Extent and Use

1 - Transportation System Extent and Use

The U.S. transportation system is an extensive, inter-related network of public and private roads, airports, railroads, transit routes, waterways, terminals, ports, and pipelines. Millions of people and businesses rely on this ever-expanding system to get to work, take vacation trips, conduct business, and ship goods here and abroad. It links regions and connects small and large cities and urban and rural areas.

Table 1 The Transportation Network: 1999

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Mode Components
Public roads 46,564 miles of Interstate highway
113,995 miles of other National Highway System roads
3,771,456 miles of other roads
Public-use airports 5,354 airports
Airports serving large certificated carriers 29 large hubsa (69 airports), 459 million enplaned passengers
31 medium hubs (48 airports), 96 million enplaned passengers
56 small hubs (73 airports), 39 million enplaned passengers
577 nonhubs (604 airports), 17 million enplaned passengers
Miles of railroad operated 120,412 miles by Class 1 freight railroadsb
21,250 miles by regional freight railroads
28,422 miles by local freight railroads
22,741 miles by Amtrak (passenger)
Urban transit (1998)  
Directional route-milesc Bus: 157,823
Trolley bus: 424
Commuter rail: 5,172
Heavy rail: 1,527
Light rail: 676
Stations Commuter rail: 972
Heavy rail: 997
Light rail: 555
Navigable channels 26,000 miles of navigable waterways
Ferry routes 487
Commercial waterway facilitiesc  
Great Lakes 619 deep-draft
144 shallow-draft
Inland 2,376 shallow-draft
Ocean 4,057 deep-draft
2,131 shallow-draft
Locks 276
Pipeline (1998)  
Oil Crude lines: 86,000 miles of pipe
Product lines: 91,000 miles of pipe
Gas Transmission: 254,000 miles of pipe
Distribution: 981,000 miles of pipe

aA hub is defined as a geographic area based on the percentage of total enplaned passengers in that area. For example, a large hub serves 1 percent or more of all enplaned revenue passengers in U.S. certificated route carriers operating in U.S. areas. This definition should not be confused with airline usage of the term hub to describe "hub and spoke" route structures.
b Includes 574 miles of road operated by U.S. Class 1 freight railroads in Canada.
c Directly operated service. Dose not include contracted service.

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Transportation Statistics Annual Report 2000 (Washington DC: in press), table 1-1; USDOT, BTS, National Transportation Statistics 2000 (Washington DC:in press), various tables; Association of American Railroads, Railroad Facts 2000, (Washington DC:2000); USDOT, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 1998 (Washington DC: 1999); National Ferry Database, as of 10/10/00; and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Navigation Data Center, The U.S. Waterway System - Transportation Facts, December 2000.