Transportation stats: Full steam ahead

Intermodal Transportation Data Base

Internet users looking for information and statistics about all modes of transportation may now board the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' Intermodal Transportation Data Base.

ITDB (www.bts.gov/itdb/), officially launched by the Transportation Department administration on Tuesday, is a central access point to a broad collection of transportation data. The database's information has been captured by DOT agencies and others, such as the U.S. Census Bureau.

As part of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, signed by President Clinton in June 1998, BTS was charged with creating and maintaining ITDB for public use.

The site is divided into categories designed to meet the needs of specific types of users. At the most expert level, users can map, graph and create reports for easy analysis of the data. The general public can find updated car accident data or airline on-time statistics. The categories are:

    * Expert user: For academics as well as DOT and other transportation analysts.

    * Statistician: For state analysts and users in the private, public and academic sectors.

    * Stat user: For urban planners, congressional committees, government entities and corporate analysts.

    * Public: For journalists, town council members, political staffers, business people and citizens.

In the future, ITDB will add data mapping capabilities and a data "cart" that will enable users to store the results of their queries and graphical representations of the data.

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