When researching transportation in Texas, analyzing economic trends that impact transportation is a critical component. Therefore, having quick, accurate access to many of these trends is of great benefit to transportation researchers.
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI) Infrastructure Investment and Analysis Program has developed a set of economic indicators that directly and indirectly affect transportation in Texas. The initial round of indicators comprises 21 graphs with notes that explain the figures at the end.
“The indicators we use are direct, indirect, energy sector and general economic,” explains TTI Assistant Transportation Researcher Max Steadman. “For example, the direct indicators range from VMT, which directly measures miles traveled by vehicles on Texas roads, to airport and seaport activity, to fuel tax revenue, which represents a significant transportation funding source in the state.”
The indicators graphically illustrate economic trends such as the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil versus the number of active Texas rigs. When the weekly WTI price began to fall in early August 2014, the number of active rigs dropped soon after.
“The purpose of this is to provide researchers easy access to key economic trends that impact transportation,” said TTI Senior Research Scientist David Ellis. “They are posted on TTI’s Policy Research Center website and will be updated monthly.”
The economic indicators graphs are available on the Policy Research Center website.
To submit comments or ideas for additional indicators, please email Max Steadman.
Read Max Steadman’s blog on the Policy Research Center website.