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Status of the Nation's Highways, Bridges, and Transit:
2002 Conditions and Performance Report

Executive Summary
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Index
Introduction
Highlights
Executive Summary
Part I: Description of Current System
Ch1: The Role of Highways and Transit
Ch2: System and Use Characteristics
Ch3: System Conditions
Ch4: Operational Performance
Ch5: Safety Performance
Ch6: Finance

Part II: Investment Performance Analyses
Ch7: Capital Investment Requirements
Ch8: Comparison of Spending and Investment Requirements
Ch9: Impacts of Investment
Ch10: Sensitivity Analysis

Part III: Bridges
Ch11: Federal Bridge Program Status of the Nation's Bridges

Part IV: Special Topics
Ch12: National Security
Ch13: Highway Transportation in Society
Ch14: The Importance of Public Transportation
Ch15: Macroeconomic Benefits of Highway Investment
Ch16: Pricing
Ch17: Transportation Asset Management
Ch18: Travel Model Improvement Program
Ch19: Air Quality
Ch20: Federal Safety Initiatives
Ch21: Operations Strategies
Ch22: Freight

Part V: Supplemental Analyses of System Components
Ch23: Interstate System
Ch24: National Highway System
Ch25: NHS Freight Connectors
Ch26: Highway-Rail Grade Crossings
Ch27: Transit Systems on Federal Lands

Appendices
Appendix A: Changes in Highway Investment Requirements Methodology
Appendix B: Bridge Investment/Performance Methodology
Appendix C: Transit Investment Condition and Investment Requirements Methodology
List of Contacts

Ch 2: System and Use Characteristics

Highway and Bridge

There were over 3.95 million miles of public roads in the United States in 2000. This mileage was overwhelmingly rural and locally-owned. About 3.09 million miles were in rural areas in 2000, or 78 percent of total mileage. The remaining 860,000 miles were in urban communities. There were 586,930 bridges in the United States in 2000.

Numerous trends are changing the extent and use of the American highway network. While locally-owned road mileage increased between 1993 and 2000, rural mileage decreased during that period. This has been an ongoing trend, partly reflecting the reclassification of Federal roads and the growth of metropolitan areas throughout the United States.

Percentage of Highway Miles, Lane Miles, and Vehicle Miles Traveled by Functional System, 2000

FUNCTIONAL SYSTEM MILES LANE-MILES VEHICLE-MILES TRAVELED
Rural Areas
Interstate
0.8%
1.6%
9.8%
Other Principal Arterial
2.5%
3.1%
9.0%
Minor Arterial
3.5%
3.5%
6.2%
Major Collector
11.0%
10.6%
7.6%
Minor Collector
6.9%
6.6%
2.1%
Local
53.5%
51.3%
4.6%
Subtotal Rural
78.2%
76.6%
39.4%
Urban Areas
Interstate
0.6%
0.9%
14.4%
Other Freeway and Expressway
0.4%
0.5%
6.4%
Other Principal Arterial
1.4%
2.3%
14.5%
Minor Arterial
2.3%
2.8%
11.8%
Collector
2.2%
2.3%
5.0%
Local
15.3%
14.6%
8.6%
Subtotal Urban
22.2%
23.4%
60.6%
Total
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%


In terms of ownership, about 77 percent of miles were locally-controlled, 19 percent were controlled by States, and the remaining 3 percent were controlled by the Federal Government. The share of locally-owned roads has steadily increased, while the shares of State and Federal roads have decreased. Much of the change in Federal ownership has occurred as Federal land management agencies reclassified some of their mileage.

Highway Mileage by Jurisdiction, 2000
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Americans traveled 2.7 trillion vehicle miles in 2000. While highway mileage is mostly rural, a majority of highway travel (61 percent) occurred in urban areas in 2000. Since 1997, however, rural travel has grown at a faster average annual rate (2.8 percent) than urban travel (2.6 percent). This represents a change from the last Conditions and Performance Report, when urban travel growth rates were greater than the preceding decade. Still, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased on every highway functional system between 1997 and 2000.

Highway Vehicle Travel, 1993 to 2000
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The growth in VMT has exceeded the increase in highway lane miles. Between 1993 and 2000, lane miles grew by 0.2 percent annually, while VMT increased by 2.7 percent annually. VMT for combination trucks grew faster between 1997 and 2000 than VMT for single-unit vehicles and passenger vehicles.

Transit

Transit system coverage, capacity, and use in the United States increased during the 1990s.

The ownership and operation of public transportation services in the United States was transferred from private companies to publicly-owned and operated entities with the passage of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964. Since that time, metropolitan planning agencies have taken on more responsibility for public transportation policy.

In 2000, public transportation agencies in urban areas operated 106,395 vehicles, of which 82,545 were in areas of more than 1 million people. Rail systems covered 10,572 miles of track with 2,825 stations. Rail and non-rail public transportation systems combined operated 1,269 vehicle maintenance facilities. In addition, an estimated 19,185 public transportation vehicles operated in rural areas and 28,664 special service vehicles serving the disabled and elderly were operated by agencies receiving Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds.

Public transportation systems operated 9,221 route miles of rail service in 2000, an absolute increase of 31.7 percent since 1991. Non-rail route miles were 163,303 in 2000, an increase of 9.4 percent over the same time period.

Public transportation system capacity as measured in vehicle revenue miles, and adjusted for vehicle capacity, increased by 18.7 percent from 1991 to 2000. Rail capacity increased 19.7 percent, and non-rail capacity by 17.7 percent. Capacity for rail and non-rail in 2000 was almost identical, approximately 1.9 billion capacity equivalent miles each, for a total of 3.8 billion.

Public Transportation Capacity, 1991 - 2000 (millions of capacity equivalent miles)
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Transit passenger miles increased by 24.5 percent between 1993 and 2000, from 36.2 billion to 45.1 billion. Growth in passenger miles was most pronounced for rail transit modes, increasing 37.7 percent, from 17.9 billion in 1993 to 24.6 billion in 2000.

Urban Passenger Transit Miles (millions)
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Public transportation vehicle occupancy remained relatively stable between 1993 and 2000, at an average of between 11 to 12 passengers per vehicle, adjusted for capacity. Vehicle occupancy increased for rail vehicles from 11.4 to 13.2 passengers and decreased for non-rail vehicles from 11.1 to 10.8 passengers.
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