America’s transportation network is comprised of approximately 4 million miles of roads, 117,000 miles of rail, 600,000 bridges, 12,000 miles of commercially navigable waterways, 11,000 miles of transit (including more than 5,000 miles of rail transit), more than 3,000 transit rail stations, 300 ports, and 19,700 airports.
Facts & Quotes
Public transit users save over $9,381 per year by using public transit instead of driving.
Vehicle travel on America’s highways increased by 38 percent from 1990 to 2012 while new road mileage increased by only 4 percent. The nation’s population grew by 26 percent from 1990 to 2009.
44 percent of America’s major urban highways are congested.
In some urban areas driving on roads in need of repair can cost the average driver $818 per year.
14 percent of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Driving on roads in need of repair costs U.S. motorists $94 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs or $444 per motorist.
The total cost of congestion in 2012 was $121 billion or $818 in wasted time and fuel for every traveler. Americans wasted 38 hours sitting in congestion. This is up from 16 hours in 1982.
In 2013, six of the nation’s 30 largest airports were already experiencing congestion levels equal to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving one day per the average week. In 2014, the number of airports already at that congestion level has more than doubled to 13.
U.S. air traffic control uses technology from the World War II era that causes systematic delays and cancellations.
U.S. air traffic congestion has steadily increased over the last decade, with record levels of delays at our busiest airports. The U.S. now has the world’s worst air traffic congestion: more than 1 in 5 flights departing our busiest airports are delayed, and 48% of delays in our 5 largest metropolitan areas are caused by our outdated aviation system. This problem will get worse in the future, as air travel is projected to double or even triple by 2025.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that full channel dimensions at the nation’s busiest 59 ports are available less than 35 percent of the time.This situation can increase the cost of shipping as vessels carry less cargo in order to reduce their draft or wait for high tide before entering a harbor.
China is home to six of the world’s top 10 busiest ports. No U.S. port is in the top 10.