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Average Length of Haul, Domestic Freight and Passenger Modes (Miles)

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YearFreightAir carrierClass I railCoastwise (water)Lakewise (water)Internal (water)Intraport (water)Crude (oil pipeline)Petroleum products (oil pipeline)PassengerAir carrier, domestic, scheduled Commuter railAmtrak(a)
1960U4611,496522282 U325269583UN
1965U5031,501494297 U320335614UN
1970U5151,509506330 U300357678UN
1975U5411,36253035816UU698U236
1980U6161,91553640517UU73623216
1985U6651,97252443515UU75824231
1990U7261,60555347013UU80322273
19911,3077511,70553548313UU80623285
19921,4967631,76251947912UU80623286
19931,4787941,65051446712UU79922280
19941,5808171,65250848216UU78724279
19951,5558431,65251449416UU79124268
19961,4418421,52650847717UU80224256
19971,1158511,33050746615UU81723256
19981,1058351,26150547215UU81223251
19991,0558351,27950148815UU82422248
20001,0778431,25150648116UU83423244
20017208581,22850947615UU84523237
20021,2048531,21952948315UU85223234
20031,1978621,24852945715UU84523231
20041,2419021,26953845416UU86223219
20051,2188931,23354044017UU86622215
20061,2189061,12654844617UU87323220
20071,2209131,10854343717UU87224218
20081,2469191,11655644316UU87223215
20091,1629181,17053046924UU87224217
20101,1579141,16956346516UU87823220
20111,1509171,11955848616UU88325213
20121,1749731,03256847516UU88524218
20131,15399099357044415UU89525218
20141,1611,0061,00056446916UU89824218
Notes: 

Average length of haul for freight is calculated by dividing ton-miles by estimates of tonnage from the various data sources. The calculation of average length of haul for passenger trips varies by mode:  for air carrier it is calculated by dividing revenue passenger-miles by revenue passenger enplanements; for commuter rail and Amtrak it is calculated by dividing passenger-miles by number of passengers.

Eno Transportation Foundation has discontinued some data series years prior to 1990.

Description: 

KEY: N = data do not exist; U = data are unavailable.

a Amtrak began operations in 1971.  Data are reported for fiscal years.

Source: 

Freight:

Air carrier:

1991-01: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of Airline Information, Air Freight Summary Data (U.S. Carriers), special tabulation, available at http://www.transtats.bts.gov/rtm91_02.htm as of Aug. 18, 2011.

2002: Ibid., TranStats Database, T-100 Market Data, special tabulation, Mar. 18, 2010.

2003-14: Ibid., Air Cargo Summary Data (All U.S. Carriers), special tabulation, available at http://www.transtats.bts.gov/freight.asp as of Aug. 2016.

Class I rail:

Association of American Railroads, Railroad Facts (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), pp. 30, 31, and similar pages in previous editions.

Water:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterborne Commerce of the United States, Part 5 (New Orleans, LA: Annual Issues), section 1, table 1-4, available at http://www.navigationdatacenter.us/wcsc/wcsc.htm as of Nov. 15, 2016.

Oil pipeline:

1960-70: Transportation Policy Associates, Washington, DC, personal communication.

Passenger: 

Air carrier:

1960-99: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of Airline Information, Air Carrier Traffic Statistics, T-100 Segment Data (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), p. 3 and similar pages in previous issues.

2000-14: Ibid., TranStats Database, T-100 Market Data and T-100 Segment Data, special tabulation, available at http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Data_Elements.aspx?Data=3 as of Nov. 2016.

Commuter Rail:

1980-95: American Public Transportation Association, Public Transportation Fact Book, Appendix A: Historical Tables (Washington, DC: April 2011), table 3, available at http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Pages/transitstats.aspx as of Aug. 18, 2011.

1996-14: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, National Transit Database (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 19 and similar tables in earlier editions, available at http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/data.htm as of Nov. 2016.

Amtrak:

1970-85: Amtrak, personal communication, Jan. 26, 1999.

1990-02: Amtrak, Amtrak Annual Report (Washington, DC: 2003), Statistical Appendix.

2003-14: Association of American Railroads, Railroad Facts (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), p. 77 and similar pages in previous editions.

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