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Guide to Transportation Planning Data Sources

This is a guide to an array of transportation planning data sources of interest to the VTRC Transportation Planning Research Advisory Committee (TPRAC).


APTA logo

Public Transportation Fact Book
The Public Transportation Fact Book, published annually, contains national aggregate statistical data covering all aspects of the transit industry in the United States and Canada. Two appendices, also available below, provide additional in-depth information that supplements the data in the Fact Book.

APTA members are public organizations that are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne passenger services, and high-speed rail. Members also include large and small companies who plan, design, construct, finance, supply, and operate bus and rail services worldwide. Government agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, state departments of transportation, academic institutions, and trade publications are also part of our membership.

Data of interest to TPRAC: Public transportation ridership, agency, and operational statistics



FTA NTD logo

Congress established the NTD to be the Nation’s primary source for information and statistics on the transit systems of the United States. Statute requires that recipients or beneficiaries of grants from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) under the Urbanized Area Formula Program (§5307) or Other than Urbanized Area (Rural) Formula Program (§5311) submit data to the NTD. Approximately 850 transit providers in urbanized areas (UZAs) currently report to the NTD through the Internet-based reporting system. Each year, NTD performance data are used to apportion over $5 billion of FTA funds to transit agencies in UZAs. FTA submits annual NTD reports to Congress summarizing transit service and safety data.

Data of interest to TPRAC: Transit information, statistics, summaries, and trends

Urban iNTD

NTD logo

Since its inception in 1978, the National Transit Database (NTD) has become the sole source of standardized and comprehensive data for use by all constituencies of the U.S. transit industry. However, accessing multiple years of NTD data was an especially tedious process. One reason is because NTD data were and continue to be collected and distributed by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) annually on separate files.

To perform a trend analysis, for example, one must first learn about the file structures that may vary from year to year, identify the specific variables of interest from the vast number of potential NTD variables, and then extract the data from specific files for specific transit systems. The urban version of the Integrated National Transit Database (Urban iNTD) system has been developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Transit Office to facilitate the process. Integrating NTD data that date back to 1984, the system provides a set of user-friendly tools to enable the quick application of these data for trend analyses, peer comparisons, and other general data inquiries. 

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Data of interest to TPRAC: Transit trend analyses, and performance measures


Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority API

Metro API Logo

The collection of data offered here allows developers to create new and innovative applications for the web or mobile devices. We encourage you to integrate Metro data into your applications and mashups to help get people the information they want about getting around. Use of our APIs and other data is free of charge!

Data of interest to TPRAC:


Northern Virginia Transit Ridership Data


NVTC compiles transit information directly from local and regional transit service providers operating in Northern Virginia on an annual basis, including data submitted to the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) National Transit Database (NTD). These data generally include operating statistics and performance indicators such as ridership, vehicle miles, passenger miles, fleet size, average age of fleet, average weekday boardings, average trip length, on-time performance, and operating costs; however, for some years, additional data are provided.  “All Northern Virginia” compares system data, otherwise data are organized by provider. Data are provided by fiscal year.

Data of interest to TPRAC:

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