3 - Mobility

3 - Mobility

The U.S. transportation network provides a high degree of personal mobility and freight activity. In 1999, the transportation network supported 4.8 trillion passenger-miles and about 3.9 trillion ton-miles. The data in this section confirm that local and long-distance travel and freight shipments continue to grow. Several factors influence this growth: greater vehicle availability, reduced travel costs, population increases, an expanding economy, and higher consumer incomes.

Table 6 Per Capita Passenger Travel and Freight Transportation

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Passenger travel (1995)  
Local trips per person,a annual 1,568
Local trips per person,a daily 4.3
Long-distance tripsb per person, annual 3.9
Local miles per person,a annual 14,115
Local miles per person,a daily 39
Long-distance miles per person, annual domestic only 3,129
Freight transportation (1997)  
Tons per person, annual 55
Ton-miles per person, annual 14,383

a Persons aged 5 and over. A trip is defined as travel from one address to another address.
b Each time a person goes to a destination at least 100 miles away from home and returns.

Notes: Data used for local travel are from the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey travel-day file and include trips of all lengths made by respondents on a single day; about 95% of these daily trips were 30 miles or less. Per capita calculations are based on population estimates within each survey, not from the Census Bureau estimate reported in the table.

Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Federal Highway Administration, Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, Our Nation's Travel (Washington, DC: 1997.); USDOT, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, 1997 Commodity Flow Survey: United States (Washington, DC: 1999); USDOT, BTS, American Travel Survey data, October 1997, person trip and demographic files; plus additional estimates prepared for the BTS by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.