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U.S. Passenger-Miles

Dataset Excel: 
Notes: 

Air carrier passenger-miles are computed by summing the products of the aircraft-miles flown on each inter airport segment multiplied by the number of passengers carried on that segment. Highway passenger-miles from 1960 to 1994 are calculated by multiplying vehicle-miles of travel as cited by FHWA by the average number of occupants for each vehicle type. Average vehicle occupancy rates are based on various sources, such as the National Household Travel Survey, conducted by the Federal Highway Administration, and the Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey, conducted by the Bureau of the Census. Transit passenger-miles are the cumulative sum of the distances ridden by each passenger. Rail passenger-miles represent the movement of 1 passenger for 1 mile. 

In July 1997, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration published revised passenger-miles data for the highway modes for a number of years. The major change reflected the reassignment of some vehicles from the Passenger car category to the Other 2-axle 4-tire vehicle category. Passenger-miles for passenger car, motorcycle, and other 2-axle 4-tire vehicles were derived by multiplying vehicle-miles for these vehicles by average vehicle occupancy rates, provided by the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey (1977, 1983, and 1995) and the National Household Travel Survey (2001). Again in March 2011, the methodology and data categories of the Highway Statistics series were updated. The new category Light duty vehicle, short wheel base includes passenger cars, light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) with a wheel base equal to or less than 121 inches. The new category Light duty vehicle, long wheel base includes large passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs with a wheel base longer than 121 inches. The data are revised with the new methodology back to the year 2000, so the data from 1980-99 are not comparable. In addition, this edition of table 1-40 is not comparable to previous editions.

The FHWA estimates national trends by using State reported Highway Performance and Monitoring System (HPMS) data, fuel consumption data, vehicle registration data, other data such as the R. L. Polk vehicle data, and a host of modeling techniques.

2007 data for Bus, Paratransit (Demand responsive), and Other are not comparable to earlier years due to change in the method of data collection and estimation by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Transit data from 1996 and after are not comparable to the data for earlier years or to the data published in previous editions of the report due to different data sources used.

Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

Description: 

KEY: N = data do not exist; R = revised; U = data are not available.

a 1960-2006 data are for Passenger Cars and Other 2-axle, 4-tire vehicles, respectively. Data for 1960-2006 are not comparable to data for 2007-15.

b U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), provides data separately for Light duty vehicle, short wheel base (formerly Passenger car) and Motorcycle in its annual Highway Statistics series. However, the 1995 summary report provides updated data for Light duty vehicle, short wheel base (formerly Passenger car) and Motorcycle combined. Light duty vehicle, short wheel base (formerly Passenger car) figures in this table were computed by U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, by subtracting the most current motorcycle figures from the aggregate Light duty vehicle, short wheel base (formerly Passenger car) and Motorcycle figures.

c 1960-65, Motorcycle data are included in Light duty vehicle, short wheel base (formerly Passenger car), and Long duty vehicle, long wheel base (formerly Other 2-axle 4-tire vehicle) data are included in Single-unit 2-axle 6-tire or more Truck.

d In July 1997, the FHWA published revised vehicle-miles data for the highway modes for many years. The major change reflected the reassignment of some vehicles from the Passenger cars category to the Other 2-axle 4-tire vehicles category.  This category was calculated prior to rounding.

e Motor bus, intercity bus, transit and demand response figures are also included in the Bus figure for highway. As of 2011, motor bus category includes motor bus, commuter bus and bus rapid transit.

f Prior to 1985, excludes Demand response and most rural and smaller systems funded via Sections 18 and 16(b)2, Federal Transit Act. The series is not continuous between 1980 and 1985. Transit rail modes are measured in car-miles. Car-miles measure individual vehicle-miles in a train. A 10-car train traveling 1 mile would equal 1 train-mile and 10 car-miles. 

g Beginning in 2011, Light rail includes Light Rail, Street Car Rail, and Hybrid Rail.

h Ferry boat included with Other under Transit for 1980 and 1985.

i Other includes Aerial Tramway, Alaska Railroad, Bus Rapid Transit, Cable Car, Commuter Bus, Demand Response - Taxi, Inclined Plane, Monorail/Automated Guideway, Publico and Vanpool.

j National Passenger Railroad Corporation (Amtrak) began operations in 1971. Does not include contract commuter passengers.

Source: 

Air:

Air carrier, domestic, all services:

1960: Civil Aeronautics Board, Handbook of Airline Statistics, 1969 (Washington, DC: 1970), part III, table 2.

1965-70: Ibid., Handbook of Airline Statistics, 1973 (Washington, DC: 1974), part III, table 2.

1975-2015: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of Airline Information, Air Carrier Summary : T1: U.S. Air Carrier Traffic And Capacity Summary by Service Class, available at as of Mar. 28, 2017.

Highway:

Passenger car and motorcycle:

1960-94: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics Summary to 1995, table VM-201A, available at as of May 6, 2011. 

1995-99: Ibid., Highway Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table VM-1, available at as of May 6, 2011.

Light duty vehicle, short wheel base:

2000-15: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table VM-1, available at as of Mar. 28, 2017.

Motorcycle:

1970-80: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics Summary to 1985 (Washington, DC: 1986), table VM-201A.

1985-2015:  Ibid., Highway Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table VM-1, available at as of Mar. 28, 2017.

Other 2-axle 4-tire vehicle:

1970-94: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics Summary to 1995, table VM-201A, available at as of May 6, 2011. 

1995-99: Ibid., Highway Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table VM-1, available at as of May 6, 2011.

Light duty vehicle, long wheel base:

2000-15: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table VM-1, available at as of Mar. 28, 2017.

Single-unit 2-axle 6-tires or more truck, combination truck, and bus:

1960-94: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics Summary to 1995, table VM-201A, available at as of May 6, 2011. 

1995-2015: Ibid., Highway Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table VM-1, available at as of Mar. 28, 2017.

Transit:

Ferryboat:

1992: American Public Transit Association, personal communication, July 19, 2000.

1993-95: American Public Transit Association, personal communication, Aug. 13, 2001.

1996-2014: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, National Transit Database, Table 19, available at as of Apr. 26, 2016.

All other data:

1960-1995: American Public Transportation Association, Public Transportation Fact Book (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 2 and similar tables in earlier editions.

1996-2014: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, National Transit Database, Table 19, available at as of Apr. 26, 2016.

Rail, Intercity / Amtrak:

1960-80: Association of American Railroads, Railroad Facts (Washington, DC: Annual Issues).

1985: Amtrak, Amtrak FY95 Annual Report (Washington, DC: 1996), Statistical Appendix, page 4. 

1990-2002: Ibid., Amtrak Annual Report (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), Statistical Appendix.

2003-15: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Safety Analysis, Operational Data Tables, Mar. 28, 2017.

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