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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
authorized to collect freight statistics under Title 49 The responsibility of the Federal Government in U.S.C., Section 553 which states:
these programs is primarily one of assuring that the In the collection of statistics relating to traffic, the
program decisions made by State and local
governments are based on a sound planning process, Corps of Engineers is directed to adopt a uniform
accurate information, and an adequate consideration system of classification for freight, and upon rivers
of alternativies. To gain this assurance, State and or inland waterways to collate ton-mileage statistics as far as practicable.
local governments are required to adopt a uniform
(3-C) planning process. To satisfy the Federal The ICC and COE authorities when combined requirements for this process, periodic information with that of the Secretary of Commerce under Title must be collected including: inventories of highways, 49 U.S.C., Section 142 provides general coverage of highway and transit travel characteristics, transit inland waterway statistics. The latter section states: financial and operating characteristics, and so forth.
The actual process of collecting the data involves a ...It shall...be the province and the duty of
cooperative effort of Federal, State, and local Secretary of Commerce to compile, publish and
governments and Metropolitan Planning Organidistribute from time to time, such useful statistics,
zations (MPO's). In some cases Federal agencies data and information concerning transportation or
(e.g., Bureau of the Census) collect the data and inland waterways as he may deem to be of value to
disseminate it to State and local agencies. In other the commercial interest of the country....
cases State agencies (e.g., State departments of Finally, the Secretary of the Department of transportation or highway departments) are the Agriculture has the authority to collect trans- primary data collectors. Similarly, MPO's often portation related statistics under numerous sections conduct special surveys and coordinate statistical of Title 15 U.S.C. Specifically, Section 1622(k)
activities associated with their specific areas. authorizes the Secretary:
Although the information collected by State and To collect, tabulate, and disseminate statistics on local governments in the federally required planning marketing agricultural products, including, but not process is primarily for local planning purposes, restricted to statistics on market supplies, storage
much of the information is also needed for national stocks, quantity, and condition of such products in planning, program development, and program various positions in marketing channel, utilization evaluation. A National Urban Transportation Reof such products, and shipments and unloads thereof porting System (UTRS) is proposed in a subsequent (italics added).
section which is designed for reporting to the Federal
Government key data items developed under these Thus, when all agencies of the Federal
programs. In addition, under Section 15(a) of the Government are considered collectively, the Federal
Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, a reporting Government has the authority to collect a wide
system has been prescribed to accumulate uniform spectrum of statistics relating to transportation.
financial and operating information regarding public mass transportation to meet the planning needs of
Federal, State, and local governments, individual Federal Requirements Related to State and Local
public mass transportation systems, as well as the Planning
general public. Data are required for the purpose of assisting State
Information Collection and Data Management Issues and local governments in planning, administering, and evaluating their transportation programs which A substantial amount of information about the are financed under Federal aid programs. Under transportation system and its effect on people and on various statutes, the Federal Government provides businesses is required for Federal planning and profunds for State and local planning, research, and gram development purposes. Planning at the local, development activities and for compiling information
regional and national levels cannot proceed without needed for these purposes. It requires the adoption of information about how people travel, from where to a cooperative, comprehensive, and coordinated (3-C)
where, with what frequency, how goods are shipped, planning process which is specified in the Federal
through which routings, by which modes and how all regulations. The data collected under this process
of these factors impact on the development and utilizrelate to the specific data needs of the various ation of land. jurisdictions. And these needs may differ depending upon the mix of programs developed by the com- However, information is not a free good. In admunity.
dition to the dollar costs associated with collecting
entirety. As a result, there are still redundancies, gaps, and inconsistencies in the information collected. This leads to unnecessary burdens on the information suppliers as well as less effective use of the
information that is supplied. 3. Many of the current and future transportation
issues relate to highly localized geographical areas and are of multimodal concern. Again, this requires a multimodal viewpoint and statistical designs specific to the geographical
area. Alternatives are presented in the last section of this Chapter which discusses various organizational options, including a transportation statistics center. This concept involves the combination of DOT's statistical organizations into a single statistical center.
and processing data, those who request it must always remember that in the process of answering surveys or regulatory inquiries, information suppliers are also incurring costs and perhaps giving up some of their privacy. As modal agencies and the various governmental and private entities at many levels seek more information on which to base decisions, the burden on information suppliers can become intolerable. Recent experience indicates there is a declining response rate to all statistical surveys, undoubtedly because both individuals and businesses are increasingly concerned about the volume of requests for information they receive and have elected to become more selective in their responses (see more detailed discussion of this point in the chapter on reporting burden). Because there is a real need for information on which to base good policy and business decisions at all levels, information suppliers should be asked to provide only the least possible amount of information necessary to serve the purpose. Redundancy in information requests should be eliminated; otherwise a situation could develop whereby individuals and businesses decline to provide information to the government for public policy formulation and implementation except under duress of law. Clearly, approaches must be found which minimize the burden of the collection of information and maximize the usefulness of that which is collected.
The Federal Government's transportation statistics program has historically focused on individual modes, that is, highway, water, rail, pipeline, and air transport, primarily because the Federal objective has been to foster and/or regulate the particular mode. As a result, the transportation agencies primarily or exclusively focused their statistical efforts on their modal concern. Three major problems associated with this modal focus are: 1. It is more difficult to examine intermodal
issues and perform intermodal analyses. Intermodal analyses require statistical designs which emphasize comparability of statistical series among modes. Current series are not satisfactory in this respect, and there is little incentive for individual modal agencies to
consider comparability. 2. Although there have been attempts to improve
the coordination of statistical programs among agencies concerned with the transportation system, there is still a fragmentation of effort with respect to statistical designs. Within the Department of Transportation, no operating administration has the specific requirement or the expertise to consider the design of the transportation statistics programs in their
Major Transportation Statistics Programs
A tremendous amount of statistical data is reported to, or collected by, the DOT operating administrations and other Federal agencies. Some of the data are collected pursuant to statutory mandates placed on the respective organizations by Congress. Most of the data serve as the basis for policy formulation and decisionmaking within DOT and most of the data sets involved also fulfill a monitoring function. These specific-purpose data sets have also found increasing use in more general transportation planning and research studies. This section provides a brief description of some of the more pertinent data bases collected and maintained by Federal agencies.
Multicategory programs are those which have comprehensive systems involving several of the program categories. Taken together, the four programs described below provide a comprehensive set of domestic transportation statistics which help to track the progress and performance of the Nation's transportation modes.
Highway Statistics Program. The following data are submitted to the Federal Highway Administration primarily by State highway agencies:
Highway Facilities: Highway mileage by system,
Financial: Highway finance (receipts and The uniform reporting system will enable the disbursements), construction costs and price Federal Government to monitor the performance, trends, State taxation (fuels, licenses and fees) efficiency, and level of service of transportation Safety: Highway fatalities and injuries
systems throughout the Nation, and to assess the Energy Consumption: Motor fuel consumption effectiveness of UMTA programs and the progress and use (highway and nonhighway).
made toward the achievement of Federal policy
goals. The data are summarized in annual highway
As required under Section 15(a), the reporting statistical publications which provide data and
system is also designed “to assist in meeting the needs information used in planning and policy studies, of individual public mass transportation systems, congressional reports on legislative issues, and
Federal, State, and local governments, and the pubpreparation of testimony both within and outside of
lic....” It is anticipated that this single uniform system government at all levels. This information is also used
will be used by virtually all mass transit operators in to:
reporting to all levels of government and to the pub-Develop cost and usage trends on highway
lic. This will considerably enhance the analytical construction contracts, materials, and equipment;
usefulness of mass transit data at all user levels. - Prepare, compile and analyze the estimate of
Interstate Statistical Program.-The ICC collects costs for completing the National System of
transportation information from all carriers of Interstate and Defense Highways as required by
passengers and commodities subject to the Interstate Title 23 U.S.C. 104(b) 5 and other related reports.
Commerce Act (rail carriers, motor carriers, water Develop and implement procedures for reporting
carriers, pipelines, freight forwarders, and private and measuring actual progress being made in the
owners of vehicles engaged in interstate commerce). completion of the Interstate and other systems;
The following categories of information are collected
on a quarterly and/or annual basis: (1) financial - Prepare special Interstate data and information
(revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, capital); (2) for use by the Administrator and other officials at facilities and equipment; (3) employment, earnings, congressional hearings and conferences;
hours, etc.; (4) passenger movement; (5) commodity - Maintain statistical operating records and utilize
movement; and (6) safety and security (freight loss, these records in the preparation of required annual
damage claims, theft, etc). reports and in analytical studies; and
As with the FARE reporting System, carriers are - Prepare, compile, and analyze data on fatal
required to collect and report information according accidents occurring on the Federal-aid Highway
to a uniform system of accounts and records. System and other highway systems;
The information collected under the interstate
statistical program is, of course, vital to the FARE Reporting System.-Section 15(a) of the evaluation of the financial and operating Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 required the performance of regulated interstate carriers. As will Secretary of Transportation to accumulate public be discussed in a later section, similar information is mass transportation financial and operating needed for nonregulated carriers. information by uniform categories and a uniform system of accounts and records. Requirements for
Aviation Statistics Program.—The combination of these systems were published in Federal Register
statistics collected by the Federal Aviation (Vol. 42, No. 13, Wednesday, January 1977).
Administration and the Civil Aeronautics Board Mandatory reporting will begin July 1978.
generally covers domestic and international aviation
activities and is perhaps more comprehensive than Under the FARE system, transit system operators the other multicategory programs. The FAA data report on an annual basis the following categories of cover aviation facilities and activities. The CAB data information: (1) financial; (2) revenues classified by cover airline activities. In the case of FAA and CAB source; (3) expenses classified by type of expense data, it is more convenient to provide detailed (e.g., labor, materials) and activity (e.g., vehicle descriptions of the individual aviation statistics prooperations, maintenance, general and grams under the various program categories. administrative); (4) assets, liabilities and capital; (5) facilities and equipment; (6) employment, earnings,
Person Movement and hours; (7) maintenance, performance, and fuel consumption; (8) safety; (9) service supplied and The National Travel Survey.-This survey yields vehicle utilization; and (10) passenger utilization. regional passenger transportation patterns and their
relationship to socioeconomic and geographic factors. The most recent survey was based on a mail survey of a multistage probability sample of approximately 24,000 households (for 1972). Data obtained for each trip included (1) origin and major destination of the trip, (2) month the trip ended, (3) type of transport used, (4) the major reason for the trip, (5) who in the household took the trip, and (6) trip duration.
Nationwide Personal Transportation Study. The Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey is a home interview survey designed to obtain up-to-date information on national patterns of travel. Earlier surveys, limited primarily to automobile and truck travel, were conducted in a number of States between 1930-1940 and more recently between 1951-1959. In April 1961, a national survey was conducted to estimate characteristics of travel and ownership and use of automobiles. In this national survey, family income data were available which could be related to travel patterns. Data for the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey were collected in 1969-1970 by the Bureau of the Census for the Federal Highway Administration. This survey was merged with the 1977 National Travel Survey to accomplish a more sufficient person movement survey covering all domestic person trips.
Journey-to-Work Supplement to the Annual Housing Survey.-The Annual Housing Survey (AHS) is conducted by the Census Bureau for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in response to a need for frequent and up-to-date data on U.S. housing, considered a prime indicator of the Nation's economic health. Under DOT sponsorship, a supplement was added to the questionnaire to collect information on the households' journey-to-work trips. The AHS consists of both a national sample of 76,000 households and an urban sample of Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA's). The sample of 60 SMSA's is divided into panels of 20 SMSA's each, with one panel surveyed every 3 years on a rotating basis.
lection system in the Northeast Corridor to include all AMTRAK trains operating nationwide. This project which was jointly funded with AMTRAK provided a 100% rail passenger ridership count through the use of a combination of automated data collection systems implemented on the trains.
Ten Percent Airline Passenger Ticket Sample.This is a recurrent origin-destination survey of airline passenger traffic on U.S. certificated route air carriers. The statistics are collected on the basis of a continuous 10-percent sample of airline passenger tickets. It is designed to obtain passenger travel patterns and volumes in terms of city of air origin, city of air destination, and passenger routing (carriers and connecting points). Data are collected and tabulated quarterly, with moving 12-month totals. Domestic data are published quarterly. Additional and more detailed domestic data and international/territorial data are available on microfilm and on computer tapes.
International Airlines Passenger Data.-The International Airlines Passenger Data project supports U.S. carrier passenger origin-destination data involving foreign flights by providing the only data that includes details on the foreign flag carriers.
Data on the entry/exit of citizens and non-citizens through U.S. ports and air-terminals are recorded on Immigration and Naturalization Service's Form I-92. The data includes carrier and flight number, date, number of U.S. citizens and aliens, city and country names, transport class and type.
The pertinent socioeconomic data gathered in the survey include household income, household size, age, race and sex of household head; type of structure and property value; availability of telephone; and availability of garage, and so forth. The journey-towork supplement includes the following data: travel mode, car occupancy, destination, trip time and distance, change of mode and mode satisfaction.
Rail Passenger Data.-In fiscal year 1976 the Federal Railroad Administration, in cooperation with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK), expanded the rail passenger data col
The Commodity Transportation Survey.-This survey collects information on the physical and geographic distribution of commodities shipped by the manufacturing sector of the national economy. The information is obtained by a sampling of bills-oflading (or other shipping records) using a probability sample of manufacturing plants. By-productor special studies resulting from this survey include a study of the domestic movement of exports, a survey of small plant activity (including plants with 10 to 19 employees), and a special study of the printing and publishing industry.
The data collected include specific facts about the commodity: origin, destination, commodity code, weight, means of transport, and the production area of the surveyed plant.
Nationwide Truck Commodity Flow Study. This survey was conducted in 1972 in each of the 50 States and was designed as a sample survey to measure the movement of specific commodities by truck