Auto Manifesto

February 18, 2008

Transportation Dashboard

Here’s a question. Is there a dashboard that summarizes the state of automotive transportation by tracking crucial measures? There’s a need for a snapshot of where we are in terms of safety, environmental, and vehicles. I’m guessing there’s someone already compiling this somewhere on the web?

For example, the number of fatalities, injuries, crashes, and cost to the US economy is well documented. How about the distance people and goods are moved, the fuel used to do so? Pollutants emitted? Congestion and travel times?

People and cargo moved. People moving seems hard to track. Maybe what’s more important is how many miles people travel on average, such as population per VMT. Even that seems difficult to estimate since the census is taken only once every 10 years. But there must be some sort of estimate.

How about taxes and fees collected related to the sale of fuel, tolls, vehicle registration, sales tax, and insurance? How about metrics pertaining to operating, maintaining, repairing, and scrapping our vehicle fleet? It should all be available somewhere right?

It would be useful in determining an index or ratio of output divided by input, a work to cost ratio if you will. It would have a few key indicators of safety, emissions, fuel used, costs, and freight and passengers moved.

This kind of information could be the foundation on which policy discussions and changes that pertain to transportation are based. And a summary should be available on one page on the web. Does anyone know if this already exists and where it can be found?

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