Pan-American Highway

The Transportation
System in the USA
By Panteleeva Maria
And Otegov Alexander
Expansion & settlement into the West created
the need for fast, efficient, and economical
means of transportation & communication.
 1857: Wells, Faro & Company organized a
stagecoach service from St. Louis to San
The Pony Express
Early 1860s: Wells, Fargo & Company added the
Pony Express service
– Involved 150 stations stocked with fresh horses
– Pony Express guaranteed delivery of a letter from
Missouri to California within 10 days!
Job advertisement for the Pony Express.
Look closely at the requirements.
Within 18
months of the
Pony Express
Service, the
telegraph was
 Pony Express
Pacific Railroad Act, 1862
A route was authorized from Omaha, Nebraska,
to San Francisco, California.
– Building the railroad could not have been possible
without substantial land grants from the US
government to the railroad companies
• Land grants financed
• Companies received 120km right
of way => 60 km on either side
of the rail line
• Value of this land increased with
the construction of the railway
because it was close to the line
Development of the US road system
The practicality of the automobile was initially limited
because of the lack of suitable roads. Travel between
cities was mostly done by railroad or waterways. Roads
were mostly dirt and hard to travel, especially in bad
weather. The Federal Road Act in 1916 allocated $75
million for building roads, and the Federal Highway Act
in 1921 provided additional funding for road
construction. By 1924 there were 31,000 miles of
paved road in the U.S.
Federal regulation of the auto industry
Safety and environmental issues during the 1960s led to stricter government
regulation of the auto industry. This resulted in higher costs and eventually to
weaker performance for cars in the 1970s. Seat lap belts were mandated by
many states effective in 1962. Federal Motor Vehicle safety Standards initiated in
1968 required shoulder belts for front passengers, front head restraints, energyabsorbing steering columns, ignition-key warning systems, anti-theft steering
column/transmission locks, side marker lights and padded interiors. Beginning in
1972, bumpers were required to be reinforced to meet 5-mph impact standards.
Emission controls began being instituted in 1968. The use of leaded gasoline
began being curtailed in the early 1970s, which resulted in lower-compression
engines being used, and thus reducing horsepower and performance. Catalytic
converters began being widely used by the mid-1970s.
1900: 8,000 automobiles in the US
1920: 8 million cars, 1 million trucks
What was the increase in automobiles dependent
The increase in the importance of the automobile
was dependent on the growth of a network of
New highways added at a rate of 60,000 km/year
=> annual cost: $1 billion
The rate of transportation expansion and
development was exponential
Automobiles versus Train
1920s: automobile rivaled the train as a
means of passenger transportation.
 Automobiles soon became more popular
than trains for short- and long-distance
 Trains continue to be important for longdistance freight transportation
In the 19th century water
transport was important for
the United States, because
communications with
Europe was essential.
The United States was famous for its high-speed clippers vessels with enormous sail rigs. By the second half of the
19th century they were not built anymore. Steamships were
built instead. Although in commerce clippers were used up to
the first world war.
Development of the highway system
Just like the railroads, the American government helped
finance the development of the highway system.
 1956: Federal Aid Highway Act
August 13, 1964:
President Lyndon B.
Johnson signs the
Federal-Aid Highway
Act of 1964
Role of the government
Government involvement in creation of an efficient
transportation network is one of the important functions of
a government.
Transportation changes
1945: changes in transportation
patterns since the end of WWII
 1940s-1950s
– Airports were small
– Commercial aircrafts could only carry 2040 passengers
– 1969: 1st American wide-body aircraft Boeing 747
– Carries 500 passengers
– 60 million people flew annually
Passenger transportation today
Passenger transportation in the US is dominated by
passenger vehicles (including cars, trucks, vans, and
motorcycles), which account for 86% of passenger-miles
The remaining 14% are handled by planes, trains, and
Road transportation
With the development of the extensive Eisenhower Interstate
Highway System in the 1950s, the private automobile became
the main mode of transportation for both long-distance trips
and the daily commute.
The system, the largest expressway system in the world as
of 2010, has a total length of 46,837 miles (75,376 km),
making it the largest public works project in US history.
Maximum speed limits in the United States
vary by state from 60 to 80 mph.
Road transportation
School bus
Each day, about 440,000
public school buses
transport 24 million
children to and from
school and school-related
Road transportation
Intercity bus
Greyhound Lines is the largest
intercity bus company in the United
States, with routes in all parts of the
continental U.S.. There are also many
smaller regional bus companies,
many of which use the terminal and
booking facilities provided by
Greyhound. Intercity bus is, in most
cases, the least expensive way to
travel long distances in the US.
Road transportation
The trucking
Trucks in America are
responsible for the majority of
freight movement over land
and are vital tools in the
manufacturing, transportation,
and warehousing industries.
Northern section of the Pan-American Highway
The Pan-American Highway is a network of roads measuring
about 47,958 kilometers (29,800 miles) in total length. Except
for an 87 kilometers (54 mi) rainforest break, called the Darién
Gap, the road links the mainland nations of the Americas in a
connected highway system. According to the Guinness Book
of World Records, the Pan-American Highway is the
world's longest "motorable road".
The idea of the Pan-American Highway emerged at the Fifth
International Conference of American States in 1923, where
it was originally conceived as a single route.
No road in the U.S. or Canada has been officially or unofficially
designated as the Pan-American Highway, and thus the primary
road officially starts at the U.S.-Mexico border. The original route
began at the border at Laredo, Texas and went south through
Mexico City.
On the other hand, several roads in the U.S. were locally named
after the Pan-American Highway. When the section of Interstate 35
in San Antonio, Texas was built, it was named the Pan Am
Expressway, as an extension of the original route from Laredo.
Interstate 25 in Albuquerque, New Mexico has been named the
Pan-American Freeway, as an extension of the route to El Paso.
U.S. Route 85, which goes north from El Paso, is designated the
CanAm Highway, which continues into Canada in the province of
Saskatchewan, before terminating at La Ronge.
Rail transportation
Passenger trains were the dominant mode of transportation until the mid-twentieth
century. The introduction of jet airplanes on major U.S. routes and the completion
of the Interstate Highway system accelerated a decline in intercity rail passenger
demand during the 1960s, resulting in the sharp curtailment of passenger service
by private railroads. This led to the creation of the National Railroad Passenger
Corporation (branded as Amtrak) by the Federal Government in 1971 to maintain
limited intercity rail passenger service in most parts of the country.
Amtrak railway map
Rail transportation
The U.S. makes extensive use
of its rail system for freight.
According to the
Association of American
Railroads: "U.S. freight
railroads are the world's
busiest, moving more
freight than any rail
system in any other
country. In fact, U.S.
railroads move more than
four times as much freight
as do all of Western
Europe's freight railroads
Air transportation
The United States has
advanced air
infrastructure which
utilizes approximately
5,000 paved runways.
Due to the geography of the United States and the generally
large distances between major cities, air transportation is the
preferred method of travel for trips over 300 miles (480 km), such
as for business travelers and long distance vacation travelers.
Air transportation
Air cargo
Air cargo comprises a large
number of daily flights in the
United States and cargo flights
are operated by private parcel
companies such as FedEx and
United Parcel Service. These
organizations operate some of
the largest fleets in the world.
Water transportation
Water transport in the United States is largely
used for freight
Freight on the Mississippi River system is
carried on barges pushed by approximately
8000 "towboats" and largely consists of bulk
goods, such as petrochemicals, grain and
Many US ports are served by cruise ships.
Popular destinations include the Caribbean,
the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii and the Inside
Passage to Alaska
Water transportation
The United States has
25,482 miles (41,009 km) of
navigable inland channels
(rivers and canals), exclusive
of the Great Lakes.
Merchant marine
Most US exports and
imports are on
foreign ships.
Traffic congestion
Traffic congestion, especially at rush hour, is a problem in many of the country's
larger cities. A 2010 study found that traffic congestion costs the US almost
$87.2 billion. The economic costs of traffic congestion have increased 63%
over the past decade, and despite declining traffic volumes, caused by the
economic downturn, Americans still waste more than 2.8 billion gallons of fuel
each year as a result of traffic congestion. Motorists also waste 4.2 billion hours
annually, or one full work week per traveler.
Airline glitches top cause of delays
Flight delays caused by airline glitches are
now creating longer passenger slowdowns
than congestion in the skies.
The data call into question a long-held
notion about air travel delays — that bad
weather and heavy air traffic cause the bulk
of the waits that passengers endure. The
newspaper's analysis shows that airline
problems, such as pilot shortages, taking
too long to refuel and mechanical
breakdowns, are as much at the root of
delays as anything else.
Unions for pilots
and flight
attendants said
that high turnover
and low staffing
at regional
contributed to
delay problems.
Airline delays
reached record
levels this
New Truck Fuel Efficiency Standards
“Trucks represent only 4 percent of vehicles on the road, but they consume 20
percent of the fuel” Union of Concerned Scientists analyst Don Anair points out.
The problem is that trucks
are complicated: the new
rules apply to pretty much
everything over 8500
pounds, from the semis
that pull long-haul trailers
to school buses, fire
trucks and pickups.
“Miles per gallon" is meaningless when you're hauling
different loads. The new rules rely heavily on
recommendations by a National Research Council
report released earlier this year to divide trucks into
three basic categories, and express the fuel standards
as "gallons per thousand tons per mile" to take load into
The standards will be phased in gradually
for the 2014 to 2018 model years, and
they'll improve fuel efficiency by between
7 and 20 percent, depending on the truck
type. That will save 500 million barrels of oil
and 250 million metric tons of greenhouse
gas, according to EPA calculations. The cost
to implement the needed changes: $7.7
Radically Redefining the Airplane
The Brilliant Idea: A cleaner, quieter craft with a radical new
design, setting the stage for a fundamental shift in aviation.
Instead of a single-fuselage cylinder, the D
series melds two partial cylinders into a
distinctive “double-bubble” shape. This adds to
the lift and allows for longer, skinnier wings and
a smaller tail, reducing drag.
The engines sit at the top rear of the fuselage, where they draw in
slower-moving air that passes over the plane, using less fuel for the
same amount of thrust—a technique known as boundary layer
ingestion. To mitigate the engine stress this creates, the plane would
travel about 10 percent slower than a 737; the researchers anticipate
making up this time through quicker loading and unloading via the
plane’s second aisle.
Boeing’s 737 is the best-selling jet airliner in history: Today, it carries 29 percent of all U.S. domestic air traffic and is
responsible for 25 percent of the industry’s fuel use. A reinvention of this commercial workhorse, called the D series,
could burn 70 percent less fuel, emit 75 percent less nitrogen oxide and dampen noise from takeoffs and landings.
In short, it could transform air travel into a more environmentally benign practice.
Significant tweaks to the 737’s basic tube-and-wing design add up “like compound interest” on the craft, says MIT
aeronautics and astronautics professor Edward Greitzer. The MIT-led team, which includes two commercial
partners, developed the D series in response to a $2.1 million NASA research program challenging
engineers to design aircraft for 2035, by which time air travel is expected to have doubled.
Economic impact
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT):
“Transportation’s vital importance to the U.S. economy is
underscored by the fact that more than $1 out of every $10
produced in the U.S. gross domestic product is related to
transportation activity. This includes all aspects of
transportation, including the movement of goods and the
purchase of all transportation-related products and services
as well as the movement of people”.
Employment in the
transportation and material
moving industry accounted for
7.4% of all employment, and
was the 5th largest
employment group in the
United States.
 The US invests 0.6% of its
GDP on transportation

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