Transportation Economic Trends

Value of Transportation Infrastructure and Other Assets:

Investment in Transportation

The government (public) and private sector invest in transportation infrastructure (referred to as structures in national data on investment) like highways and streets, which have a fixed location, and transportation equipment like motor vehicles, aircraft, and ships. This page discusses public and private transportation investment. Data and discussion on the value of existing transportation infrastructure and equipment (capital stock) also available.
2020 Year-in-Review
  • In 2020 public and private investment in transportation infrastructure and equipment totaled $355.0 billion, or 11.2 percent of the $3,160.0 billion in investment in all infrastructure and equipment.
  • Adjusted for inflation, investment in transportation decreased 24.1 percent in 2020. The largest decline of 30.1 percent occurred in 2009.
  • Public investment in transportation increased 0.8 percent in 2020 and remains virtually unchanged over the last decade.
  • Private investment in transportation decreased 33.9 percent in 2020. The largest decline of 50.6 percent occurred in 2009.

Transportation Investment | Sources of Transportation Investment
Transportation Investment
Transportation assets represent a small but important share of total public and private investment in the United States. 
Public and private investment estimates include new structures and equipment and exclude maintenance and repair of existing structures or equipment. The estimates also exclude pipeline, which are part of mining infrastructure investment in national data. 


The majority of growth in public and private investment in transportation comes from private investment. Public investment covers only investment in transportation structures, e.g., highways and streets. Nearly all private investment is in transportation equipment.   

Transportation Investment | Sources of Transportation Investment
Sources of Transportation Investment
The national estimates of investment in transportation infrastructure come primarily from the Census Bureau’s Value of Construction Put in Place survey (see figure). The survey covers costs for constructing new structures and making improvements that extend the life or add value to existing structures in the private and public sectors.  
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Recommended citation
U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Economic Trends, available at www.bts.gov/product/transportation-economic-trends.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the preeminent source of statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics, and provides context to decision makers and the public for understanding statistics on transportation.