TranStats hits the road

TranStats hits the road

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ new TranStats database portal came along after the Office of Management and Budget had chosen its 25 e-government initiatives, but TranStats has Quicksilver-like goals. Launched last month at www.transtats.bts.gov, the portal brings together more than 100 searchable databases about every mode of U.S. transportation, along with demographic data sets and analytical tools.

Jeff Butler, assistant director in the Office of Statistical Computing, said Transportation’s acting CIO, Kim Taylor, has “asked OMB to consider TranStats as an e-gov initiative.” The portal has averaged about 15,000 hits per day since its September launch, Butler said. Users include federal and state transportation agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, universities and other data providers.

“They asked us, ‘Why do we have to go all over the place to find transportation data?’” Butler said. “We tried to simplify access for the widest range of users.”

One example of the types of data downloadable from the portal is the Accident File, which describes roadway conditions at crash sites. The database has about 385,000 records of road accidents between 1995 and 2001.

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