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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

COVID-19 Related Transportation Statistics

Thursday, March 28, 2024

BTS experimented with statistics during the COVID-19 public health emergency, including daily vehicle travel and changes in travel behavior. Statistical products that continue after the COVID-19 public health emergency include Monthly Transportation Statistics, Supply Chain Indicators, and The Week in Transportation.

These pages present a wide range of data on all transportation modes from various sources.

Daily Travel during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

  • What it shows: The percent and number of people staying home and not staying home each day, and the number of trips taken each day for 10 different distance groupings.
  • How recent: One-week lag
  • Update Frequency: Weekly on Monday
  • Geography level: National, State, County

Mobility over Time by State and by Trip Distance

  • What it shows: Changes over time in the number of people staying home and not staying home, and the number of trips taken each day for 10 different distance groupings
  • How recent: One-week lag.
  • Update Frequency: Weekly on Monday
  • Geography level: State

Latest COVID-19 Weekly Transportation Statistics

Formerly "The Week in Transportation"

  • What it shows: The percent and number of people staying home and not staying home each day and the number of trips taken each day for four different distance groupings; commercial flights operated and people screened at airports; transit ridership; and passenger travel into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada.
  • How recent: Some measures are as recent as one-day old; others have a one-week lag.
  • Update Frequency: Weekly on Tuesday
  • Geography level: National

Latest Freight Indicators During COVID-19

  • What it shows: More than 40 different measures of freight activity and performance grouped into four categories: Port Congestion Inside the Gate, Port Congestion Outside the Gate, Freight Movement, and Transportation Labor and Capacity Tightness.
  • How recent: Some measures are as recent as one-day old; others have a two-month lag.
  • Update Frequency: Weekly and monthly
  • Geography level: National

Monthly Transportation Statistics

  • What it shows: More than 60 different measures in the following categories: Economics, Freight Volume & Passenger Travel, On-Time Performance, and Safety
  • How recent: Lags vary from less than one month to three months.
  • Update Frequency: Throughout the month
  • Geography level: National

County Transportation Profiles

  • What it shows: County-level transportation data including recent person-trips, airports, bridges, demographics, maritime and rail
  • How recent: Person-trips from previous week
  • Update frequency: Person-trips weekly on Monday; others as numbers become available
  • Geography level: County

Daily vehicle travel

  • What it shows: an index for vehicle travel trends including average trip distance, trip count, trip duration, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) for passenger vehicles, local fleets, and long-haul trucks.
  • How recent: 72-hour lag
  • Update frequency: Weekly on Tuesday
  • Geography level: International, national, and state level

Effects of COVID-19 on Travel Behavior and Telework

  • What it shows: The percent of adults who reported reducing their transit or ride-sharing trips, substituting online shopping for in-person store trips, or living with at least one member of the household teleworking. Available in total or by income groups. State rankings for telework available.
  • Date Range: August 2020 through March 2021.
  • Update Frequency: No further updates; data for all 2 week collection periods published. 
  • Geography Level: National, State, and Metropolitan Area

Effects of COVID-19 on Transit Riding and Online vs In-Person Shopping

  • What it shows: The percent of adults who reported reducing their transit trips and substituting online shopping for in-person store trips. Available in total or by race or income groups.
  • Date Range: August 2020 through March 2021.
  • Update Frequency: No further updates; data for all 2 week collection periods published. 
  • Geography Level: National, State, and Metropolitan Area

COVID-19 Stimulus Funding for Transportation

  • What it shows: Allocations from Congress to transportation from the three COVID-19 stimulus bills
  • How recent: March 11, 2021
  • Update Frequency: This is a one-time report 
  • Geography Level: National

Effects of COVID-19 on Bikeshare and E-scooter Operations

  • What it shows: effects of COVID-19 on bikeshare (docked and dockless) and e-scooter systems beginning in January 2020
  • How recent: Through August 2020
  • Update frequency: Monthly
  • Geography level: By bikeshare or e-scooter system, primarily metropolitan area

Docked Bikeshare Ridership: COVID-19 Effects

  • What it shows: Daily use in 2020 compared to 2019 for bikeshare systems with docking stations.
  • How recent: One-month lag
  • Update frequency: Updated monthly
  • Geography level: By bikeshare system, primarily metropolitan area.

Ferry operators status

  • What it shows: The percentage of ferry operators by state affected by the pandemic. Viewers can select April 3 or June 12, 2020, to observe the change in effects over time. 
  • How recent: Data is collected from 2 different points, April 3 and June 12, 2020.
  • Update frequency: TBD
  • Geography level: State

Ferry Routes for top ten operators

  • What it shows: A breakdown of the routes each of the top 10 ferry operators maintains and whether routes are closed, operating on a reduced schedule, now-reopened, or operating on a normal schedule. 
  • How recent: Last week
  • Update frequency: Weekly
  • Geography level: Local (by ferry operator)

In addition to the regularly updated pages, BTS has also released these COVID-19-related data spotlight pages:

COVID-19 Restrictions Upend U.S. Land Border Crossings in 2021

One impact of the pandemic has been stricter crossing restrictions at international borders.

U.S. Ports Work Through Daunting Challenges to Deliver the Goods

Amid labor shortages from initial COVID-19 pandemic reductions,  container ports are facing major challenges in moving cargo

Taking the Measure of Transportation in 2021

Three indicators tell the story of an up and down year

Thanksgiving 2021 Air Travel is No Turkey

Sunday after holiday sets pandemic record

COVID-19 Pandemic Drops 2020 Household Spending on Transportation by Nearly 14%

Average household transportation spending decreases to $9,465 from $10,960

Twenty Years Later, How Does Post-9/11 Air Travel Compare to the Disruptions of COVID-19?

Different disruptions create different recoveries.

COVID-Affected Micromobility Changes Differ by City

Number of systems declines as number of bikeshare docks increases.

Summer Mobility Heats Up as Delta COVID-19 Variant Threatens Travel Gains

Airline flights, Amtrak ridership, and road travel on the rise through July 2021.

BTS Mines Multiple Data Sources for Clues to New Transportation Normal

In-person shopping, transit ridership show gains.

Navigating the Complexities of COVID-19 Stimulus Funding for Transportation

New BTS guide breaks it all down.

2021 Memorial Day weekend middle-distance travel up from 2019 and 2020, but total trips still down from 2019

COVID-19 travel recovery more a marathon than a sprint?

March 2021 Airline Passenger Volume Shows Signs of Aviation Recovery

Despite the increases from previous months, March 2021 passenger and flight numbers remain well below those of the pre-pandemic March 2019.

Suez Canal Blockage by Ever Given Will Exacerbate COVID-19 Freight Delays and Affect U.S. Ports, Businesses, Consumers

Though halfway around the world, the delay of vessels awaiting canal passage will have an impact on businesses and consumers here at home.

Transportation Jobs Recover Slowly after July 2020 Record High 15.7% Unemployment

As of March 2021, the unemployment rate in transportation and warehousing (8.9%) was 2.7 percentage points above the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.2%. 

COVID-19 Crushes Bikeshare and E-Scooter Ridership

Many systems suspended operations; some closed permanently. Year-over-year ridership numbers on the remaining systems are markedly low.

After a Year of COVID-19, the View from BTS

BTS has responded with more than 60 releases of new products with an expanded emphasis on data timeliness to keep up with the dramatic changes.  

Commercial Aviation in 2020: downturn in airline passengers, employment, profits, and flights operated, in the wake of COVID-19, was partially mitigated by increases in air cargo

Beginning last February, the spread of COVID-19 triggered a significant drop in the number of operated flights and ticketed passengers.

Resumed Trade with China and Consumer Activity in Late Quarters Leaves Top U.S. Container Ports with Solid 2020

America’s top maritime ports experienced a downturn in container activity as COVID-19 hit the nation, but shipping rebounded in later months and ended about even for the year.

COVID-19 Takes a Big Bite out of 2020 Passenger Transportation

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused sharp reductions in passenger travel of every type.

Holiday Travel Season Brings Surge in 50-500-Mile Trips; Other Distances Lag as More People Stay Put This Year

The holiday travel period saw an overall decline in the total trips taken by Americans despite a year-over-year jump in trips between 50 and 500 miles.

Thanksgiving week travel: total number of trips down, long distance trips up over last year

The Thanksgiving 2020 travel data are in, and they indicate that the total number of trips taken this Thanksgiving was down significantly from 2019, but the number of trips between 50 and 500 miles increased by 46.7 million.

Airlines Hit On-Time High in September while Scheduled, Operated Flights Decrease

The COVID-constrained 2020 summer air travel season wound down in September, ending three consecutive months of increases in the number of domestic flights scheduled and operated by U.S. airlines; there was good news for passengers, though, as airlines notched a record-high on-time arrival rate of 92.9%.

August Flight Operations Edge up for Some Airlines, Down for Others

U.S. airlines extended their recent streak of increasing the number of domestic flights operated overall, but results for individual airlines varied widely.

World Statistics Day and the BTS Response to COVID-19

As U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted, “the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic has elevated the importance of data and statistics, and demonstrated how linking data to geospatial information can help us to track the dynamics of a rapidly changing global situation.” That is exactly what BTS has been doing from the beginning of this emergency.

U.S. Airlines operate 56% more flights in July than June

Along with low cancellations, a low number of scheduled flights, but not as low as previous months.

Airlines operate more flights in June; on-time performance hits a high

Airlines operated 236,234 flights in June, 65% fewer flights than they operated in June 2019 but a considerable 31% jump over May 2020.

Overall Travel Down, Long-Distance Travel Up for Labor Day Weekend 2020

Overall, Americans took 2.8 billion fewer total trips (4.6 billion) during the Labor Day weekend this year than they did in 2019 (7.4 billion). The number of long-distance trips (50 or more miles), however, increased by 10% (16.6 million) over last year. 

Flight Cancellations Stabilize in May, but Total Flights Hit Another Record Low

In May, U.S. passenger airline flight schedules caught up with the diminished demand inflicted by COVID-19. Although the reduction in scheduled flights enabled airlines to avoid the cancellations that disrupted travel in March and April, it also resulted in a record low number of flights operated.

4th of July Travel: 2020 vs. 2019

Americans took 2.8 billion fewer total trips during the 4th of July week this year than they did in 2019. In 2019, on average, 19.7% of Americans stayed home each day during holiday week; in 2020, that number rose to an average of 24.8% staying home each day.

April's One-Two Punch: as Scheduled Flights Hit Record Lows, Cancellations Reach New Highs

U.S. airlines operated an all-time monthly low of 194,390 domestic flights in April 2020, compared to the previous low of 370,027 in February 1994.

March Day-by-Day: How Flight Cancellations Rose to 17%

The March 2020 flight cancellation rate —17% of flights were canceled— at the time was the highest since September 2001, when 20% of flights were canceled. The cancellation rate was exceeded in April when 41% of flights were canceled.