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A Few Amazing Facts about Transportation in the U.S.
(This article is reproduced, with permission, from the June 1999 edition of The Road Ahead, a
publication of the Virginia Transportation Technology Transfer Center.)
In conjunction with this year's [1999's] National Transportation Week, which was
observed May 16-22, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association
compiled some interesting facts about transportation in the U.S.
Did you know . . .
- The U.S. has:
--3.9 million miles of roads and highways
--5,400 public airports
--200,000 miles of freight and passenger railroad track
--5,800 miles of urban mass transit track with more than 2,300 stations
--3,600 waterport terminals
- The nation's transportation infrastructure has a value of $1.75 trillion about 12
percent of the value of the nation's total productive assets. Its value is 10 times
that of all computers used by American businesses and 8 times the value of the
entire telephone and telecommunications infrastructure!
- Each year, America's transportation network makes possible more than 4
trillion miles of personal travel an average of 15,000 miles of travel for
each American and the movement of more than $6 trillion worth of
- Public investment in the 44,000-mile Interstate Highway System and other
highway improvements over the past 40 years has helped save an estimated 2
million lives, or roughly the population of Miami, Florida.
- Transportation construction is a $160 billion per year U.S. industry that employs
more than 1.6 million people.
- Every $1 billion invested by the public in government-financed road
improvements since 1950 has, to this point, helped prevent 1,400 premature
deaths and 50,000 injuries and saved American society over $2 billion in health
care, insurance, lost wages, and productivity costs.
- Each $1 billion spent on the construction of the nation's infrastructure creates
approximately 35,000 jobs.
National Transportation Week was first designated by Congress over 30 years ago to
draw public attention to the importance and benefits of transportation. The slogan for
the 1999 National Transportation Week is "Transportation: Taking You Where You
Want To Go!" and special themes for this year include safety, economic
competitiveness, and quality of life.
For more information on National Transportation Week, visit the following website:
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