You are here

The American transportation system is vast and impressive. It serves millions daily – including those who may not own a vehicle or rarely travel. As transportation volumes rise, there will be need for more capacity in the skies, on the roads and rails, and elsewhere in the transportation system.

Strong economic growth in 2017 resulted in record high levels of transportation activity. Freight shipments in the U.S., an indicator of economic growth, climbed to record levels in 2017, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) freight index. Meanwhile, other measures of transportation activity tracked by the U.S. Department of Transportation – highway driving and airline passengers – also reached record highs in 2017

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics Annual Report offers these facts and more.

Transportation Network Facts

  • The nation’s transportation assets were valued at about $7.7 trillion in 2016, a 20.6 percent increase over 2010 estimates.
  • BTS’ broadly-based freight shipment index closed the year at a record high – the seventh all-time high it reached during the year.  The index rose 6.1 percent during the year, the biggest annual gain since the post-recession recovery year of 2010.
  • More driving took place on the nation’s roads in 2017 than in any previous year, topping 3.2 trillion vehicle miles, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Traffic Volume Trends. July 2017 was the top all-time month for vehicle miles, followed by August 2017.
  • The number of passengers on U.S. airlines were on pace through November to set a new yearly high in 2017, despite a hurricane-related dip in September. Through November, the number of passengers was up 3.0 percent from the same period in 2016, the previous high. July 2017 was the top all-time month for flying, followed by August 2017 and June 2017.

Tranportation Network miles chart my mode

To see more #TransportationTuesday graphics and topics, visit our webpage.

Comments (0)

Don’t forget to Spring Forward this Sunday, March 11 at 2 a.m., as Daylight Saving Time begins. This is a wonderful time of year to check off a few other housekeeping details, including checking your smoke detector batteries and taking a moment to check for vehicle safety recalls.  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reminding motorists that adding this to your spring and fall safety routines keeps you and your family safe all year long. You can also take the opportunity to check for safety recalls for child car seats and tires. To see a list of open recalls, visit

How Do I Check for Recalls?

Checking for recalls is simple but essential. Take these three steps toward a safer vehicle.

  1. Find your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The 17-character VIN is like your vehicle’s Social Security Number. It’s a unique code that identifies a car or truck. It’s on a label inside your driver’s side doorjamb. Or, while standing outside the vehicle at the driver’s side door, look down at where the windshield meets the dashboard. You’ll find the VIN stamped under the glass. You might also find it on your car’s registration or your insurance documents.
  2. Search using your VIN at Your search will tell you if there’s an open safety recall affecting your vehicle and what steps to take.
  3. Get your vehicle repaired immediately if you have an open recall. Follow the steps indicated by your VIN search. Your vehicle’s manufacturer is required by law to address your recall—and to do it for free.
  4. Sign up for free safety recall e-mails. Visit and sign up for NHTSA’s recall notifications, which will alert you about recalls for your vehicle, tires, or child car seats. This service is free.

Photo of clock in spring meadow with vin number

To see more #TransportationTuesday graphics and topics, visit our webpage.

Comments (0)

Whether they are emergency responders, city planners, pipeline operators, homeowners, students or just curious neighbors, it’s important for community members to know where pipelines are located so they can be avoided or found, serviced and monitored.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) offers an excellent resource for learning more about local pipelines. The National Pipeline Mapping System’s (NPMS) Public Map Viewer includes interactive maps showing the locations of hazardous liquid and gas transmission pipelines, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants nationwide. Interested individuals can also access information about related pipeline incidents going back to 2002.

Anyone can use NPMS’s Public Map Viewer to access this information and more, one county at a time. For a quick tutorial before using the public map viewer, or for help finding specific information, view the new instructional video on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s YouTube page, “How to locate pipelines in your area with the National Pipeline Mapping System.”

Screen shot of the National Pipeline Mapping System

Comments (0)

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will launch the 2018 national railroad grade crossing safety campaign, “Stop. Trains Can’t.” on February 26th. The campaign is part of DOT’s ongoing effort to increase public awareness around railroad tracks and reduce crossing deaths and injuries.

Railroad crossing incidents and fatalities are a long-standing problem, but they are easily avoidable. Trains cannot swerve, stop quickly or change directions to avert collisions, so motorists must be prepared to stop at crossings and proceed cautiously. It can take a freight train traveling 55 miles per hour a mile or more to stop after emergency brakes are applied—the length of 18 football fields. Additionally, by law, trains have the right of way.

For more information on the “Stop. Trains Can’t” campaign, visit

Railroad Grade Crossing Infographic

Comments (0)

The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to supporting the Trump Administration’s framework for rebuilding America’s infrastructure. Our Nation’s infrastructure is in an unacceptable state of despair, which damages our country’s competitiveness and our citizen’s quality of life.

You can find out more at

Infrastructure Graphic. construction workers working on builidng a bridge and buildings

Comments (0)


Submit Feedback >