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Since Federal statistics are gathered with a view toward implementing the particular missions laid on specific agencies by law, it is necessary to engage management in identifying those data needed to carry out their responsibilities. However, it is far from clear that unambigious lines may be drawn from statistical activities to environmental and work place programs which require data.
threshold has been exceeded may be and frequently is of greater concern to him than knowing the degree to which that threshold was exceeded. Moreover, he may be responsible for regulating the performance of a point discharge and have no responsibility to know about or take action in regard to streams or air sheds receiving pollutants from a particular point. Thus, from the viewpoint of compliance activity, measurement of the causal relationship which may exist between the discharge of specific quantities of pollutant and the quality of the receiving ambient media may be of no particular concern. However, it is just such measurement which may be of particular interest to scientists and statisticians. Further, from a statistical point of view, every effort must be made to assure that programs designed to yield statistical estimates must be designed to assure that no release of individually identifiable information be made for regulatory purposes.
The problem in drawing unambiguous lines stems from the differences between statistical/analytical uses of data and regulation/enforcement uses required by the program manager. That the interest of regulators and statisticians are not necessarily coincident is exemplified by production of environmental data. The regulator may wish to ensure that a given source discharges nothing above some specified threshold value. To know that a
Chapter 18. TRANSPORTATION STATISTICS
“Transportation has substantially shaped the growth and development of the United States.... To sustain and enhance our economic vitality and growth, the productivity of our commerce and the quality of our leisure, we need a healthy and responsive transportation system. National transportation policy must serve these broad goals of our society by helping the development, financing and maintenance of a safe, efficient, accessible and diverse transportation system. Such a system should meet the needs of the American people-as passengers, consumers, employees, shippers and investors—in a way that is consistent with other national objectives. The values and priorities of our society are changing as the land on which we live is changing, and transportation must blend with other national goals in seeking heightened quality in the American way of life.”
Transportation involves a highly complex set of activities. Its main purpose is to transport people and commodities to and from specific points within urban areas, rural areas, or points outside the United States. In many cases there are alternative modes and combinations of modes by which these people or goods can be transported. A typical intercity passenger trip, for example, may involve a private automobile from home to a publicly owned airport, a commercial aircraft for between-city travel, and a taxicab, bus, or rental car from the destination airport to the final destination. Note that this trip involves private, commercial, and public interests, each providing a specific service.
In its recent report on “National Transportation Trends and Choices," the Department of Transportation pointed out that future travel demand will be conditioned by income and residential patterns, activity patterns and spatial relations, and whether or not the users of the transportation infrastructure are or are not directly charged for that usage. Future service demands of freight shippers are conditioned by many of the same factors. Additional factors are: cost, the attributes of the commodity to be moved, the level of service provided by different carriers, and
the special requirements of the receivers of the shipment. Public policy regarding transportation system development and future efforts required at the Federal, State, and local levels will, of course, be guided by these factors as well as by measurements of the current and estimated future performance of the different modes in terms of economic efficiency, service, safety, pollution, and energy consumption. The availability of both quantitative and qualitative information will undoubtedly improve public and private transportation decisions. Issues and Corresponding Data Requirements
The desire to accomplish national goals and objectives and the complex relationships implied by a transportation network inevitably lead to various national problems and issues. The effective resolution of these issues at the Federal, State, and local levels requires reliable information.
In general, statistics are available which tell us much but not all we need to know about individual modal systems. However, there is a scarcity of information with which to make reasonable judgments about intermodal relationships and the potential for reduced cost, energy consumption, or pollution through intermodal transfers. We also need to know more about why individuals and businesses make the transportation choices that they do. Without such information it is difficult to design and implement public policies that would provide the proper level of transportation service to the greatest number of users with minimum financial cost, energy consumption, and environmental disruption.
There are some additional issues specific to each category that need to be emphasized. These are discussed in the following paragraphs.
Mobility for the Disadvantaged
The segment of the Nation's population that most critically needs basic community services is the same segment that tends to have the least physical access to these services. The young, the elderly, the poor, the handicapped, and the chronically unemployed should be able to take full advantage of health care services, welfare services, educational opportunities, banking
'A Statement of National Transportation Policy, by the Secretary of Transportation, September 17, 1975, Washington, D.C.
and regulation. However, there are certain components of the system which are under the direct control or operation of the Federal Government. In these areas, the Federal Government requires information by which to manage and plan these facilities. These operational responsibilities include the air traffic and air navigation systems, safety and environmental programs of the U.S. Coast Guard, operation of locks and waterways by the Corps of Engineers and the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, delivery of mail by the U.S. Postal Service, Alaskan Railroad, national capital airports (Dulles International and Washington National), national parkways, and the military movements of goods and personnel.
The Federal Government also has emergency responsibilities which include the preparation of emergency plans, programs and procedures. The objective is to provide an adequate state of readiness for transportation resources in the case of natural disasters, strikes and other emergency conditions.
Safety and Security
and legal services, as well as recreational and social activities; but their access to these opportunities is limited, not only by financial resources but by transportation access as well.
Lack of mobility for the disadvantaged is not confined to urban areas. Rural areas have a proportionally, if not numerically, larger segment that is disadvantaged, and greater distances intensify the mobility problem. If sound policies are to be developed, an adequate information base relating to the needs of the disadvantaged and to the capacity of the system to serve them is essential. Financial Assistance, Subsidization, and Regulation
A major part of the Federal transportation budget is associated with development, administration and evaluation of grant-in-aid programs to State and local governments. These programs cover construction of highways, construction and operation of public transportation systems, airport development, highway and marine safety, and railroad development. The major issues relating to these programs relate to the financial need of State and local governments, eligibility for and allocation of funds, and the evaluation of the program effectiveness in achieving Federal objectives.
The determination of when user charges should be applied, at what appropriate level and by whom is quite complex. In addition to assessing their impact on the competing carriers, community and environmental impacts must also be considered as is the case related to waterway user charges. Highway user charges involve consideration of the allocation of costs among the various user groups as well as the relative contributions of Federal, State and local governments.
With respect to regulation, it is clear that carriers, shippers and passengers frequently face a web of restrictive government regulations which stifle competition, discourage innovation and foster inefficiency. The major problems that must be addressed are the ability of the regulatory agencies to recognize changes in competitive positions, the inequities in subsidies and taxation of the various modes, uniform rules for the regulation of pricing, and the level and nature of the regulation required.
To be able to formulate sound policies regarding these complex issues, rather detailed financial and operating statistics are needed from State and local governments as well as from the private sector.
The responsibility for transportation safety is shared among the various levels of government, industry, and the general public. The areas of Federal responsibilities include highway and vehicle design, air traffic control, aircraft and pilot certification, ship construction standards, vessel traffic and navigation service, port safety standards, recreational boating safety standards, and railroad, motor carrier, pipeline and hazardous material regulation. Federal progra relate to accident prevention, accident survival, emergency response and research data collection and evaluation.
Data are required on the magnitude and nature of the accident problem for each of the transportation modes and on the effects of the various regulatory actions and safety programs instituted to minimize such accidents. In addition to accident data, exposure data, or data on "accident risk" are also required in order to facilitate the analysis of accident rates among the various modes. Essentially accidents can be considered a cost (to society) of operating the various transportation modes and represents a major factor to be considered in terms of transportation planning. Motor vehicle accidents amount to tens of billions of dollars annually alone.
Federal System Management
The Federal role in transportation is primarily one of national policy development, financial assistance
International Transportation Policy
In an increasingly interdependent international economy, U.S. transportation provides vital links among the world's nations. Since the end of World War II, international trade and travel have grown very rapidly, and the United States has become
the future evolution of transportation, and identifies questions of what choices and changes should be made so that the actual evolvement would be one which best serves the Nation. The most recent work emphasizes as both a physical and an economic overview-a statement of opportunities to improve transportation and forecasts of what can and should be avoided by timely action. The planning effort rests
increasingly dependent upon the foreign markets and foreign resources which international transportation makes accessible.
Currently, a broad range of issues and policy decisions confront the United States in the field of international transportation including: 1. The organization and regulation of
international air transportation; 2. The structure of international shipping
services; 3. The safety and environmental consequences of
international transportation operations, including the pollution controls and the noise and other standards required on international transport equipment entering the United
States; 4. The compatibility of equipment employed for
international multimodal services, including
the containerization of cargo; 5. The development of appropriate international
legal regimes on such questions as liability and claims procedures, and balancing the interests
of carriers and shippers; 6. Simplification and standardization of the
documentation and processing required to serve both private sector and governmental
needs; 7. The flow of travelers and luggage across
international borders subject to customs and
other types of inspection processing; 8. The viability and profitability of U.S. private
flag carriers when much of their foreign competition is governmentally owned or
subsidized; and 9. The prospect for continued world preeminence
of the U.S. aeronautical manufacturing industry in light of the challenge from subsidiz
ed European competitors. Obviously, the information requirements for proper international policy analysis are tremendous; however, they fall into the same general categories as for domestic issues. A special problem relating to international issues is the collection of comparable data on foreign-owned operations. Policy Planning, Program Development and Evaluation
a base of economic and transportation information which has large gaps in critical areas particularly in the area of multimodal transportation; -forecasts of events that could influence transportation radically; -cause and effect relationships, and -tentative judgments concerning the relative values placed on human life, time, esthetics, the environment, and so forth, that are always open to controversy and question.
The ability to respond more efficiently to existing and future transportation needs and to understand the indirect effects of our policy, planning, and program development actions requires an accurate understanding of the complex problems involved in the planning of the future of transportation. This requires the improvement of measures of performance and the information base to support cost-benefit methodology. Transportation system performance measures are required for assessing the effectiveness of alternative Federal program and policy options and evaluating the health and progress of the transportation system.
Legislative Mandates for Collection of
Under the enabling legislation for the Department of Transportation, the Secretary is charged with the responsibility to:
...promote and undertake development, collection, and dissemination of technological, statistical, economic, and other information relevant to domestic and international transportation... (P.L. 89-670, Sec. 4(a)).
This section does not address specifically the different needs of the Federal, State and local governments, the academic community or the general
Multimodal national transportation planning at the Federal level can provide a tentative view as to
which the Commission may deem information to be necessary....
The carriers subject to regulation are specified in Section 1. Section 913 expands the Commission's authority to collect data from water carriers. Section 20(3) gives the Commission the authority to prescribe a uniform system of accounts by which to capture the information.
public; however, Section 4 of the High Speed Ground Transportation Act, 1965 (Public Law 89-220), authorized the Secretary of Commerce to:
..collect and collate transportation data, statistics, and other information which he determines will contribute to the improvement of the national transportation system. In carrying out this activity, the Secretary shall utilize the data, statistics, and other information available from Federal agencies and other sources to the greatest practicable extent. The data, statistics, and other information collected under this section shall be made available to other Federal agencies and to the public insofar as practicable.
This authority, which was subsequently transferred to the Secretary of Transportation, relates to national transportation statistics and other information which will contribute to the improvement of the national transportation system. The statutory expiration date of the High Speed Ground Transportation Act does not apply to this section.
Thus, it has been declared by Congress to be in the Nation's interest and the Secretary of Transportation has been given the responsibility to collect and disseminate information that would lead to the improvement of the national transportation system. In addition, Congress has provided the Secretary with the authority to collect specific types of data under various legislative acts relating to individual modes. The Department of Transportation is not the only agency charged with the responsibility to collect transportation statistics. Under Title 13, U.S.C., Section 131 (Census).
The Secretary of Commerce shall take, compile, and publish census of manufactures, of mineral industries, and of other businesses, including the distributive trades, service establishments, and transportation (exclusive of means of transportation for which statistics are required by law to be filed with, and are compiled and published by, a designated regulatory body) in the year 1964, and then in the year 1968, and every fifth year thereafter, and each such census shall relate to the year immediately preceding the taking thereof.
Under Title 49, U.S.C., Section 1377(a), the Civil Aeronautics Board
...is empowered to require annual, monthly, periodical and special reports from any air carrier, to prescribe the manner and form in which reports shall be made, and to require from any air carrier answers to all questions upon which the Board may deem information to be necessary.... Title 29 U.S.C., Section 2 states that: The Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the direction of the Secretary of Labor, shall collect, collate, and report at least once each year, or more often if necessary, full and complete statistics of the conditions of labor and the products and distribution of the products of the same... (italics added).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shall also collect, collate, report and publish at least once each month full and complete statistics of the volume of and changes in employment, as indicated by the number of persons employed, the total wages paid, and the total hours of employment...in the following industries and their principal branches....(5) transportation, communication and other public utilities....
Under Title 49, U.S.C., Section 20(1), the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)
...is authorized to require annual, periodical, or special reports from transportation carriers, lessors, and associates (as defined in this section), to prescribe the manner and form in which such reports shall be made, and to require from such carriers, lessors, and associations specific and full, true, and correct answers to all questions upon
Several sections of Title 15 (relating to Commerce and Trade) give the Department of Commerce the authority to collect transportation related statistics. In particular, Section 182 states that:
...shall collect, digest, and arrange, for the use of Congress, the statistics of the manufactures of the United States, their localities, sources of raw material, markets, exchanges with the producing regions of the country, transportation of products, wages and such other conditions as are found to affect their prosperity.
The requirement to report these statistics to Congress is made in Section 183.
In addition to the ICC authority to collect statistics from water carriers (Title 49 U.S.C. Section 913) noted earlier, the Corps of Engineers (COE) is