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Access to Intercity Transportation in Rural Areas Interactive Map

Friday, January 10, 2019 - In 2018, 88.9% of the nation’s 90.1 million rural residents had access to intercity transportation, up from 86.6% in 2006. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) released an interactive map application today that displays the percent of rural population that has access to intercity transportation services.

The 11.1% of rural residents who lacked intercity transportation access lived farther than 75 miles from a large airport and/or 25 miles from a smaller airport, intercity bus stop, and/or intercity rail facility with scheduled service. The percent of rural residents with access to intercity transportation rose over the 12-year period from 2006 to 2018 because of a steady increase in the number of intercity bus facilities serving rural areas. The number of intercity bus stops grew by 53.2% (from 1,718 in 2006 to 2,632 in 2018).

In North Dakota, 55.0% of rural residents had access to scheduled intercity transportation in 2018, the lowest percentage of any state and down from 57.4% in 2006. In Arkansas and New Mexico, the largest percent of rural residents lost intercity transportation during 12-year period due to the discontinuation of intercity bus service. Increased intercity bus service in Alabama produced the largest gain of any state.

This interactive map shows, by county, the percent of the rural population with access to scheduled air (commercial), intercity bus, and/or intercity rail transportation for the years 2006, 2012, and 2018. Accessibility is defined as living within:

  • 75 miles of a large airport, that is, airports with at least 0.25 percent of total U.S. passenger boardings in a year, or
  • 25 miles of any other airport with scheduled commercial service, intercity bus stop, or intercity rail facility. 

The map also shows, by county, the change in the number of intercity transportation facilities from 2006-2018 and the locations of the facilities in each year.

Media contact: Dave Smallen, (202) 366-5568, david.smallen@dot.gov.

Updated: Friday, January 10, 2020