I discovered this site while looking for “official” statistics to debunk claims about air travel and screening for terrorists. (Begging National Security Questions #1)
I didn’t find it an easy site to navigate but that probably reflects my lack of familiarity with the data being collected. A short guide with a very good index would be quite useful.
A real treasure trove of transportation information (from the about page):
Major Programs of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)
- Intermodal Transportation Database, including data from the BTS/Census Commodity Flow Survey and other sources on the volumes of freight and passenger movement by mode, origin, and destinations; location and connectivity of transportation facilities; and a national accounting of expenditures and capital stocks on each mode of transportation and intermodal combination.
- National Transportation Atlas Database, including transportation networks; flows of people, goods, vehicles, and craft over those networks; and social, economic, and environmental conditions that affect or are affected by the transportation networks.
- Statistics on Performance and Impacts of the Nation’s Transportation Systems, published primarily in the Transportation Statistics Annual Report and the many tables in National Transportation Statistics.
- Airline Statistics, including on-time performance and tarmac delays, airline traffic data, airline passenger origins and destinations, and financial statistics.
- Ferry Statistics, including the National Census of Ferry Operators.
- Safety Data Program, which effectively integrates safety data across modes and to address gaps in existing safety data programs of the Department, many of which are highlighted in Chapter 2 — Transportation Safety of the National Transportation Statistics publication.
- National Transportation Library, which acquires, preserves, and manages transportation information and information products and services for use by the Department, other Federal agencies, and the general public; provide reference and research assistance; serve as a central depository for research results and technical publications of the Department; and publicize, facilitate, and promote access to the information products and services.
- Statistical Coordination and Policies for the transportation community with the support of the Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics.
It is important to remember that federal agencies (and their equivalents under other governments) have distinct agendas. When confronting outlandish claims from one of the security agencies, it helps to have contradictory data gathered by other, “disinterested,” agencies of the same government.
Security types can dismiss your evidence and analysis as “that’s what you think.” After all, their world is nothing but suspicion and conjecture. Why shouldn’t that be true for others?
Not as easy to dismiss data and analysis by other government agencies.