Transportation Economic Trends

Value of Transportation Infrastructure and Other Assets:

Transportation Capital Stock


Transportation infrastructure and other assets constitute some of the most important economic resources of the United States. This page discusses the value of existing transportation infrastructure and equipment (known as transportation capital stock). Data and discussion about investment in transportation infrastructure and equipment also available.

2018 Year-in-Review
  • The net value of transportation infrastructure and other assets (vehicles and equipment)—known as transportation capital stock—was $8.3 trillion in 2018. The public sector owned $4.6 trillion (55.1 percent), while the private sector owned $3.7 trillion (44.8 percent).
  • Unadjusted for inflation, the value of transportation infrastructure and other assets increased 4.4 percent from 2017 to 2018.

Transportation Capital Stock
Transportation capital stock is the value of transportation infrastructure (e.g., roadways, bridges, and stations) and equipment (e.g., automobiles, aircraft, and ships) in existence as of a specific date. It includes a deduction for wear and tear, obsolescence, accidental damage, and aging of the assets.
Transportation capital stock owned by the public sector includes highways and streets and other transportation structures.
Transportation capital stock owned by the private transportation sector includes the transportation structures and vehicles owned by:
  • households (personal motor vehicles),
  • non-transportation industries to carry out their own transportation operations (known as in-house transportation), and
  • for-hire transportation industries.
The value of total transportation capital stock grew steadily from its initial measurement in 1947. Publicly owned transportation capital stock surpassed privately owned transportation capital stock in 2006. 
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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.