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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Table 2. Number of Air Carriers, Railroads, Interstate Motor Carriers, Marine Vessel Operators, and Pipeline Operators

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Table 2. Number of Air Carriers, Railroads, Interstate Motor Carriers, Marine Vessel Operators, and Pipeline Operators

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  1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Air Carriersa N N 39 36 63 102 70 96 96 96 96 94
Major Air Carriers N N N N N 13 14 11 12 13 13 13
Other Air Carriers N N N N N 89 56 85 84 83 83 81
Railroads 607 568 517 477 480 500 530 541 553 550 559 555
Class I Railroads 106 76 71 73 39 25 14 11 10 9 9 9
Other Railroads 501 492 446 404 441 f475 516 530 543 541 550 546
Interstate Motor Carriersb e e e e U U 216,000 346,000 379,000 417,000 477,486 517,297
Marine Vessel Operatorsc U U U U U U U 2,519 2,505 2,494 2,534 2,502
Pipeline Operatorsd N N 1,123 1,682 2,243 2,204 2,212 2,378 2,338 2,282 2,225 2,196
Hazardous Liquid N N N N N f222 187 209 215 217 225 237
Natural Gas Transmission N N 420 432 474 724 866 974 970 954 880 850
Natural Gas Distribution N N 938 g1,500 g1,932 1,485 1,382 1,444 1,397 1,363 1,366 1,351

a Carrier groups are categorized based on their annual operating revenues as major, national, large regional, and medium regional. The thresholds were last adjusted July 1, 1999, and the threshold for major air carriers is currently $1 billion. The other air carrier category contains all national, large regional, and medium regional air carriers.
b Figures are for the fiscal year, October through September.
c The printed source materials do not contain totals for the number of operators and data files from which the figures can be determined are not available prior to 1993.
d There is some overlap among the operators for the pipeline modes so the total number of pipeline operators is lower than the sum for the the three pipeline modes.
e Prior to 1980, the source of motor carrier data was the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), which was abolished on Jan. 1, 1996. (Certain functions were transferred to the Surface Transportation Board and the Department of Transportation.) The system used by ICC to collect motor carrier data differs significantly from that used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in its Motor Carrier Management Information System (MSMIS), which began operations in 1980. The MCMIS is updated weekly, but archive versions are not retained. Because of differences betweenthe two systems, data are not comparable and thus are not included here.
f This value is for 1986. The number of hazardous liquid pipeline operators is not available for prior years.
g Includes master meter and mobile home park natural gas distribution operators. A master meter system is a pipeline system for distributing gas within, but not limited to, a definable area, such as a mobile home park, housing project, or apartment complex, where the operator purchases metered gas from an outside source for resale through a gas distribution pipeline system. The gas distribution pipeline system supplies the ultimate consumer who either purchases the gas directly through a meter or by other means, such as by rents.

KEY: N = data do not exist; U = data are not available

Air carriers:
U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of Airline Information, Air Carrier Financial Statistics Quarterly (Washington, DC: Fourth quarter issues), "Alphabetical List of Air Carriers by Carrier Group ...".
1999: Association of American Railroads, Railroad Facts (Washington, DC: 2000).
1989-1998: Ibid., Railroad Ten-Year Trends, Vol. 16 (Washington, DC: 1999), page 10.
1986: Ibid., Vol. 3 (Washington, DC), table I-2.
1960-1985: Ibid. Vol. 2 (Washington, DC), table I-2.
Interstate motor carriers:
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) data, personal communication, Apr. 5, 2000.
Marine vessel operators:
1995-97: U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Waterborne Transportation Lines of the United States, Volume 2, Vessel Company Summary(New Orleans, LA: Annual issues), source data files obtained by personal communication, Apr. 12, 2000.
1998: Ibid., Internet site: as of Apr. 10, 2000.
Pipeline Operators:
U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Pipeline Safety, personal communication, Jul. 28, 2000.