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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

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

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A year ago this week, the COVID-19 pandemic began disrupting American households, businesses, and the nation’s transportation system on a large scale. Like many office-based organizations, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) went to full-time remote telework. Since then, BTS has responded with more than 60 releases of new products with an expanded emphasis on timeliness to keep up with the dramatic changes.

As shown in the selected graphs below from The Week in Transportation, the consequences of Covid-19 differ between passenger travel and freight movement. Most forms of passenger travel remain at reduced levels, while the demand for freight indicates a strong rebound.

Individual components of this complex picture are tracked by selected national measures in The Week In Transportation and in the expanded list of variables in Monthly Transportation Statistics, Mobility Over Time by State and Distance and County Transportation Profiles which show differences in national statistics within the United States.

BTS also tracks mode-specific information about the pandemic’s impact on bikeshare systems, ferry operations, commercial aviation, port activity, and more.

BTS provided an initial assessment of Covid-19 trends in the 2020 edition of the Transportation Statistics Annual Report, and will provide additional perspectives in future editions.