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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

About the Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), part of the Department of Transportation (DOT) is the preeminent source of statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics, and provides context to decision makers and the public for understanding statistics on transportation. BTS assures the credibility of its products and services through rigorous analysis, transparent data quality, and independence from political influence. BTS promotes innovative methods of data collection, analysis, visualization, and dissemination to improve operational efficiency, to examine emerging topics, and to create relevant and timely information products that foster understanding of transportation and its transformational role in society. The Bureau’s National Transportation Library (NTL) is the permanent, publicly accessible home for research publications from throughout the transportation community; the gateway to all DOT data; and the help line for the Congress, researchers, and the public for information about transportation.

The BTS Director is by law the senior advisor to the Secretary of Transportation on data and statistics.

BTS is one of 13 principal federal statistical agencies, and is governed primarily by statistical policy directives of the Office of Management and Budget and Title 49 of the United States Code.

The BTS program is described in the BTS Strategic Plan.

Key Officials

Ms. Patricia S. Hu is the Director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.  Ms. Hu has extensive statistical experience, deep knowledge of transportation, and a strong background in research.  Ms. Hu joined DOT in 2011 after working for 29 years at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory where she served as the director of the Center for Transportation Analysis from 2001-2009.  She has developed and led programs that focus on transportation survey methods and data quality, transportation analysis and model development, and visualization-based transportation decision making tools.  Much of her work has been published in many of the leading transportation and applied statistics journals and has been presented at numerous conferences. Ms. Hu has also been an active member and leader on numerous Transportation Research Board (TRB) committees, expert panels, and advisory boards that cover transportation analysis, transportation safety, and transportation information systems and data.  Director Hu was recently invited to chair TRB’s TRR Review Advisory Board.  She has also been active at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s International Transport Forum by chairing the annual Transportation Statistics meeting and a multi-year research project on "Big Data and Open Data.”  She received her M.S. in statistics from the University of Guelph, Canada.

Dr. Rolf R. Schmitt, the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, is a nationally recognized expert in transportation policy and in the development of statistics to inform transportation decisions.  His federal career started in 1977, and includes positions with BTS, the Department of Transportation's National Transportation Policy Team, the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Transportation Policy Study Commission. He helped establish BTS between 1992 and 2000, and returned as Deputy Director in 2012. Dr. Schmitt has a Ph.D. in geography from the Johns Hopkins University.