How Are We Growing? Where Are We Going?

September 19, 2007

Current demographic, social, and economic trends illustrate that the United States is currently undergoing a transformation of dramatic scale and complexity comparable to what it experienced at the beginning of the last century—another period characterized by the radical reshaping of the American landscape. Among other things, these trends show clearly that we are a metropolitan nation, in a metropolitan world, where place and size really does seem to matter.

The purpose of this presentation to the American Public Transportation Association is to advance a deeper quantitative understanding of trends that are impacting metropolitan America in order to create a long-term vision of public transportation’s role in the fabric of the nation’s surface transportation system over the next several decades. It examines several major trends, and the interrelationships of those trends based on an empirical foundation from which national discussions about the future of the federal transportation program should move forward.