The National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD), published by BTS, is a set of nationwide geographic databases of transportation facilities, transportation networks, and associated infrastructure. These datasets include spatial information for transportation modal networks and intermodal terminals, as well as the related attribute information for these features. There are approximately three dozen point, line and polygon “data themes,” comprising of about 60 total datasets that make up the NTAD. Metadata documentation, as prescribed by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), is also provided for each database. These data support research, analysis, and decision-making across all modes of transportation. They are most useful at the national level, but have major applications at regional, state, and local scales throughout the transportation community. The current NTAD databases are designed for use within a geographic information system (GIS); however, the attribute data for each dataset can be accessed in any database, spreadsheet, or other software package. In 2016, NTAD switched from an annual update to updates on a continuous basis. The BTS is interested in providing different distribution approaches and developing additional datasets.
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In the United States, transit ridership has grown by more than 20 percent in the last decade, reaching its highest levels since 1957. To keep track of the industry and provide public information and statistics as it continues to grow, FTA’s National Transit Database (NTD) records the financial, operating and asset condition of transit systems.
After data reporting was required by Congress in 1974, the NTD was set up to be the repository of data about the financial, operating and asset conditions of American transit systems. The NTD is designed to support local, state and regional planning efforts and help governments and other decision-makers make multi-year comparisons and perform trend analyses. It contains a wealth of information such as agency funding sources, inventories of vehicles and maintenance facilities, safety event reports, measures of transit service provided and consumed, and data on transit employees.
In December 2019, FTA released its 2018 NTD data products, which provide the most recent data on transit ridership, expenses, fares, safety, assets and other transit system information. Data products are posted following transit agency submittal deadlines and review by FTA, making 2018 the most current information. See the NTD Data page to view the full set of publications and documentation.
FTA grant recipients – those receiving funding from the Urbanized Area Formula Program (5307) or Rural Formula Program (5311) – are required to submit data to the NTD in uniform categories. More than 660 transit providers report to the NTD through the Internet-based system.
NTD data products include:
- Transit profiles: Frequently sought data on any transit provider
- National transit summaries and trends
- Time series data on transit systems dating back to 1991
- Up-to-date time series of monthly ridership data
- Time series of safety data
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