Transportation stats: The good news and the bad

In early February, the U.S. Department of Transportation released its annual compilation of transportation stats, a document we always find fascinating. For readers who didn’t have the chance to sift through the 245 pages of data themselves, we’ve selected out the stats that particularly caught our eye(s).



The good: • The percentage of structurally deficient bridges declined from 12.0 percent in 2010 to 9.6 percent in 2015. • The majority of airport runways are in good condition. Only 2 percent are considered poor. • About 4.8 million people walked or biked to work in 2014, about half a million more than in 2000. (Boston stands out among larger cities for people walking to work – about 15 percent do.) • Close to 2 million more people worked at home in 2014 than in 2000. • Less than 2 percent of passengers (14.1 million) waited in airport security lines for more than 20 minutes. • In terms of household expenses, transportation declined from 12.3 percent of the total in 2000 to 9.6 percent in 2015. • Deaths per hundred million miles of highway travel fell from over 5.50 in 1966 to 1.12 in 2015.


The bad: • The use of carpooling has declined. Nearly 11 million more people drove alone to work in 2014 than in 2000. • Census Bureau reports show that in 1960, 10.3 percent of people walked to work, compared to 3.9 percent in 1990 and 2.7 percent in 2014. • The average annual delay per commuter rose from 37 hours in 2000 to 42 hours in 2014, a 13.5 percent increase, • Although the long-term decline in fatalities is still impressive, highway motor vehicle fatalities rose 7.2 percent in 2015. The highway injury count also increased in 2015 for the first time since 2012. • Pedestrian fatalities have increased from 12.3 percent of the total in 2010 to 14.5 percent in 2015. • Motorcycle injuries increased 62.7 percent from 2000 to 2014.

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