Long Distance Travel in the United States

Status: In Progress

Research on long-distance and interregional passenger mobility is an understudied class of travel that accounts for more than 2.6 billion annual trips by private vehicle, rail, air, and intercity bus. Interregional mobility is becoming increasingly important as travel demand changes and infrastructure condition and funding become more critical. Despite these factors, transportation research has predominantly focused on shorter-distance metropolitan travel. However, access to intercity travel impacts quality of life and long distance modes contribute significantly to environmental impacts. The relative lack of travel behavior data has limited investigation of this portion of the transportation system. The white paper will review the history of long distance travel in the United States, overview the data available for study of such travel including international data sources, and outline what is known in terms of who travels how much for what purpose in this portion of the national multimodal transportation system. The white paper will include the research needs in this arena.

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