Public Transportation in the Lansing, Michigan Area

The Capital Area Transit Authority (CATA) is the largest public transit provider in the tri-county area around Lansing, Michigan. The tri-county area consists of Ingham, Clinton, and Eaton counties. CATA has been operating public transportation in the mid-Michigan area since 1972 and has been twice named the best transit system of its size in North America by the American Public Transportation Association.

Ridership grew steadily during the 1970s, before leveling off during the 1980s and most of the 1990s. During the 1980s and 1990s, the number of rides fluctuated around 3-4 million annually. In 1999, CATA took over the Michigan State University bus service. Since then ridership has increased nearly 3-fold. In contrast, the population of the tri-county area grew by 22.6% from 1970 to 2010.

In 2013, CATA set a fourth consecutive yearly record for number of rides. By 2014, however, ridership was down overall despite seeing increased ridership on its Michigan State University routes and increased requests for its paratransit services. In the fourth quarter of 2014, gasoline prices fell which could account for the decreased ridership. Gasoline prices remained low in 2016. Bus ridership both nationally and locally continued to decline in 2016. According to the American Public Transporation Association, nationally bus ridership dropped by almost 3 percent in 2016. CATA saw a ridership decline of 4.6 percent overall that same year. However, CATA saw ridership on its Michigan State University and some of its Redi-Ride and paratransit routes increase by double-digits in 2016.

Today’s market size represents the number of rides annually on CATA vehicles in 1972 and 2016.

Geographic reference: Lansing, Michigan area
Year: 1972 and 2016
Market size: Less than 1 million rides and 10.9 million rides respectively
Sources: “Ridership Mirrors National Trend”, CATA 2017 Community Report, June 2017, page 4; “National Trend Leaves Its Mark on Ridership,” CATA 2016 Community Report, June 2016, page 3; “Ridership Trends Vary by Service Type”, CATA 2015 Community Report: Where Public Transportation Goes Community Grows, June 2015, page 3; “Passenger Trips Reflect Stable Demand”, CATA 2014 Community Report: Moving You Forward With Pride, June 2014, page 3; “Growth in Ridership Remains Strong”, CATA 2013 Community Report: Moving You Toward Your Dreams, June 2013, page 4; “Riding High with Record Ridership,” CATA 2012 Community Report 40th Anniversary Edition: Greater Lansing on the Move, August 2012; “CATA Demand Grows with Community Need,” CATA 2011 Community Report: Greater Lansing on the Move, August 2011; Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, “Tri-County Regional Growth: Choices for Our Future,” Draft Report, August 2002 available online here; “Ingham County, Michigan” available online here; “Clinton County, Michigan” available online here; and “Eaton County, Michigan” available online here.

Alternative-Fuel Vehicles

When one thinks of alternative fuels for vehicles, one might think of diesel, ethanol, or even compressed natural gas, but recently vehicles running on propane have entered the market. According to Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for Roush CleanTech, a manufacturer of engines that run on propane, propane is “… cleaner than gasoline and diesel. We have a lot of it (in the U.S.) and … it’s easy to integrate into a Ford truck or school bus.” In fact, all three major school bus manufacturers in the United States offer propane-powered school buses to school districts.

Today’s market size is the number of propane-powered vehicles on the road. In comparison, we also include the number of vehicles on the road powered by compressed natural gas.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2016
Market size: More than 143,000 propane-powered vehicles
Market size: Approximately 153,000 compressed natural gas powered vehicles
Source: Snavely, Brent, “Alternative-Fuel Buses Carry Roush,” Lansing State Journal, January 8, 2017, page 18A
Original source: Roush CleanTech and Natural Gas Vehicles for America

Moving Day

Bar Chart

Today we are looking at the number of people who make a residential move in the United States each year. This is a measure of geographical mobility and has been tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau annually for decades. Using their data we produced a graph showing the annual percent of the U.S. population aged one year or more that moved from one place to another each year.

Americans think of themselves as a very mobile people, both in terms of economic mobility as well as actual, physical mobility. And yet, in truth, we are less mobile than we were in the past. As the data in the graph show, we actually move far less often now than in the past. The trend is towards fewer moves and moves of shorter distance.

There are many reasons for this change, from an aging population to less regional diversity in the growing service industries than existed in the manufacturing sector. An increasing use of occupational licensing practices and a declining rate of job changing in the United States also contribute to this change. (Yes, contrary to popular thought, we actually change jobs more infrequently than in the past.)

Some analysts see the declining rate of geographical mobility in the United States as one of the reasons behind a declining rate of productivity growth. Others see it as just another consequence of decreased median income growth. What is clear is the fact that we are staying put at much higher rates now than we did thirty years ago.

For those interested in reading more about this topic, we provide a link to further reading about it under the source note below.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1976 and 2016
Market size: 36.8 million (17.7% of the population) and 35.1 million (11.2%)
Source: “Table A-1. Annual Geographical Mobility Rates, By Type of Movement: 1948-2016,” Current Population Survey, Historical Migration/Geographic Mobility Tables, November 15, 2016, available here.
Original source: U.S. Department of Commerce.
Further reading: Tyler Cowen, “The Unseen Threat to America: We Don’t Leave Our Hometowns,” Time, February 22, 2017, available online here.

Bicycle Accessory Market in the United Kingdom

In 2015 there were 15.8 million bicyclists in the United Kingdom. In urban areas cycling has become a convenient and environmentally-friendly alternative to other forms of transportation. Recently more and more professionals are using their bicycles to commute to work. Since 2010 the market for accessories has grown faster than the market for bicycles themselves—28 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Today’s market size shows the value of the bicycle accessory market, which includes parts, accessories, and clothing, in the United Kingdom for 2014. That same year the market for bicycles was valued at £956 million.

Geographic reference: United Kingdom
Year: 2014
Market size: £1.25 billion
Source: Graham, Luke, “Chain Reaction: Cycling Gets a Luxury Pricetag,” CNBC, July 31, 2015 available online here.
Original source: Mintel

Public Transportation in the Lansing, Michigan Area

The Capital Area Transit Authority (CATA) is the largest public transit provider in the tri-county area around Lansing, Michigan. The tri-county area consists of Ingham, Clinton, and Eaton counties. CATA has been operating public transportation in the mid-Michigan area since 1972 and has been twice named the best transit system of its size in North America by the American Public Transportation Association.

Ridership grew steadily during the 1970s, before leveling off during the 1980s and most of the 1990s. During the 1980s and 1990s, the number of rides fluctuated around 3-4 million annually. In 1999, CATA took over the Michigan State University bus service. Since then ridership has increased nearly 3-fold. In contrast, the population of the tri-county area grew by 22.6% from 1970 to 2010.

In 2013, CATA set a fourth consecutive yearly record for number of rides. By 2014, however, ridership was down overall despite seeing increased ridership on its Michigan State University routes and increased requests for its paratransit services. In the fourth quarter of 2014, gasoline prices fell which could account for the decreased ridership. Gasoline prices remained low in 2015. Nationally, according to the American Public Transportation Association, total passenger trips declined by 3.5 percent from October 2015 to December 2015. CATA reported a 1 percent decline in ridership in 2015 relative to the close of 2014.

Today’s market size represents the number of rides annually on CATA vehicles in 1972 and 2015.

Geographic reference: Lansing, Michigan area
Year: 1972 and 2015
Market size: Less than 1 million rides and 11.43 million rides respectively
Sources: “National Trend Leaves Its Mark on Ridership,” CATA 2016 Community Report, June 2016, page 3; “Ridership Trends Vary by Service Type”, CATA 2015 Community Report: Where Public Transportation Goes Community Grows, June 2015, page 3; “Passenger Trips Reflect Stable Demand”, CATA 2014 Community Report: Moving You Forward With Pride, June 2014, page 3; “Growth in Ridership Remains Strong”, CATA 2013 Community Report: Moving You Toward Your Dreams, June 2013, page 4; “Riding High with Record Ridership,” CATA 2012 Community Report 40th Anniversary Edition: Greater Lansing on the Move, August 2012; “CATA Demand Grows with Community Need,” CATA 2011 Community Report: Greater Lansing on the Move, August 2011; Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, “Tri-County Regional Growth: Choices for Our Future,” Draft Report, August 2002 available online here; “Ingham County, Michigan” available online here; “Clinton County, Michigan” available online here; and “Eaton County, Michigan” available online here.

Used Cars in China

The auto market in China, like most markets, is growing rapidly. Demand for cars has been growing annually as the purchasing power of millions of Chinese people increases as that country becomes an economic powerhouse. But because the mass market for automobiles in China is relatively new—having taken off in earnest starting four or five years ago, according to the first source listed below—a used car market is an even newer thing in China. It takes, on average, four years for a new car to be traded in for an “upgrade” and thus become available for resale as a used car.

Today’s market size is the estimated number of used cars sold in China in 2012 as well as a forecast for the number of used cars that will be sold in 2016 and 2020. For comparison purposes, let us point out that in the United States in 2012, used car sales were nearly three times greater than new car sales whereas in China, used car sales were only one-third the number of new car sales. The used car market in China is very young, with lots of room to grow.

Geographic reference: China
Year: 2012 and forecasts for 2016 and 2020
Market size: 4.8, 10.0 and 20.0 million respectively
Sources: (1) Kelvin Chan, “Auto Sales Boom Spawns a Growing Used Car Market in China,” Detroit Free Press, November 27, 2013, available online here. (2) Cliff Atiyeh, Used-car Sales Climb as Americans Hold Onto Older Vehicles,” MSN.com, February 4, 2013, available online here.
Original source: Changan Ford, the U.S. company’s China joint venture
Posted on December 11, 2013

Roundabouts

Roundabout

Roundabouts are a road design used to replace a traditional four or six-way intersection, referred to as a crossroads intersection, with a circular path around which traffic flows, continuously, in one direction. The graphic provides an overview of such a roundabout.

For a driver not accustomed to this sort of intersection, a roundabout may be disconcerting at first. However, study after study shows that in the right locations roundabouts are an improvement over more traditional crossroad intersections in two ways: by increasing the flow of traffic and by reducing (by 76%) the number of injury-producing accidents. The reduction in accidents leading to fatalities in a roundabout versus a crossroad intersection is even greater since speeds are reduced throughout the intersection. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are 90% fewer fatal accidents in crossroads intersections that have been replaced by roundabouts.

Today’s market size is the estimated number of roundabout intersections worldwide, in 1997 and in 2012.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 1997 and 2012
Market size: 35,000 and 60,000 respectively
Source: “The Widening Gyre,” The Economist, October 5, 2013, page 16. The graphic comes from a Michigan Department of Transportation website, here.
Original source: U.S. Department of Transportation
Posted on November 25, 2013

Bikes in Europe

EuroBikes

Bicycles outnumber automobiles in the world and always have. While bike commuting dominates in most of the developing world, it lags far behind in the industrialized centers of the world. But, this is changing, slowly. The industrial world is experiencing a rise in bicycle ridership—in Europe motivated in part by the severity of the recession and financial crisis that started in 2008—and spending on infrastructure supportive of bike commuting is on the rise.

The graph shows the number of bicycles and number of passenger cars sold annually in the 27 countries of the European Community between 2001 and 2012. While the sale of cars has fallen, the sale of bikes has been reasonably steady—despite a very serious recession—and ended the period higher than it began, with sales of 19.7 million units in 2012 versus 18.9 million in 2001.

Geographic reference: European Community
Year: 2012
Market size: 19.72 million bicycles (850,000 of these bikes were electric-assist bicycles, the segment of the market growing most quickly)
Sources: (1) European Bicycle Market, 2013 edition, Industry & Market Profile, October 2013, Association of the European Two-Wheeler Parts’ & Accessories’ Industry, page 18, available online here. (2) Martin Campestrini and Peter Mock, European Vehicle Market Statistics, Pocketbooks, 2011 Edition, ICCT, pages 39-48.
Original source: COLIBI, the Association of the European Bicycle Industry, COLIPED, the Association of the European Two-Wheeler Parts’ & Accessories’ Industry and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)
Posted on November 6, 2013

Commercial Airline Baggage Fees

One of the ways airlines have found to raise revenue, while remaining competitive in the electronic marketplace for airline fares, is to charge separately for some services that were traditionally covered in the ticket price, such as meals, seat selection, and baggage handling. While U.S. airline revenue from baggage fees went up at a rate of 17.23% per year from 2007 through 2012 overall operating income rose over the same period at a rate of 2.14% annually.

Today’s market size is the total amount charged by all U.S. commercial airlines, annually, for fees associated with the handling of baggage.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2007 and 2012
Market size: $464 million and $3.486 billion respectively
Source: Martha C. White, “Airlines Cash In on Every Inch, Even the Jammed Bins Overhead,” The New York Times, October 11, 2013, page 1, available online here.
Original source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Posted on October 14, 2013

Elevators & Escalators

Elevators and escalators are an almost invisible part of the infrastructure of large buildings, invisible only in that they are taken for granted by most of their users. For the industry involved in making and servicing these complex machines, invisibility may well be just fine, after all, when attention is drawn to them it is often for all the wrong reasons—slowness, jerkiness, and/or safety problems.

Leaders in this industry include Otis, Schindler, ThyssenKrupp and KONE, each representing around 20% of the world market. The areas of greatest growth in new installations are areas of the world that are seeing the largest increase in both urbanization and high-rise construction. Maintenance of existing machinery is a part of the business that is strongest in the well-established industrialized world and is an important part of this industry.

Today’s market size is the estimated number of new elevator and escalator installations around the world during 2012 as well as the installed base that year.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2012
Market size: 670,000 new units added to a base of slightly over 11 million
Source: “Elevator and Escalator Market,” published in 2013 by KONE and available here with geographical breakdowns of the global market.
Original source: KONE
Posted on July 1, 2013

Public Transportation—Lansing, Michigan Area

The Capital Area Transit Authority (CATA), in Lansing, Michigan, is the largest public transit provider in the tri-county area near the State Capitol, which includes Ingham, Clinton, and Eaton counties. CATA has been operating public transportation in the mid-Michigan area since 1972 and has been twice named the best transit system of its size in North America by the American Public Transportation Association.

Ridership grew steadily during the 1970s, before leveling off during the 1980s and most of the 1990s. During the 1980s and 1990s, the number of rides fluctuated around 3 to 4 million annually. In 1999, CATA took over the Michigan State University bus service. Since then ridership has increased nearly 3-fold. In contrast, the population of the tri-county area grew by 22.6% from 1970 to 2010. In 2012, CATA set a third consecutive yearly record for number of rides. Data represent the number of rides annually on CATA vehicles in 1972 and 2012.

Geographic reference: Lansing, Michigan
Year: 1972 and 2012
Market size: Fewer than 1 million rides and 11.86 million rides respectively
Sources: “Growth in Ridership Remains Strong”, CATA 2013 Community Report: Moving You Toward Your Dreams, June 2013, p. 4; “Riding High with Record Ridership,” CATA 2012 Community Report 40th Anniversary Edition: Greater Lansing on the Move, August 2012; “CATA Demand Grows with Community Need,” CATA 2011 Community Report: Greater Lansing on the Move, August 2011; Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, “Tri-County Regional Growth: Choices for Our Future,” Draft Report, August 2002 available online here; “Ingham County, Michigan” available online here; “Clinton County, Michigan” available online here; and “Eaton County, Michigan” available online here;
Posted on June 26, 2013

Trucking Industry

Freight Transport by Mode Pie Chart

In the United States, trucks move more freight than do all the other forms of transportation combined and this is true when measured in terms of tons moved (68.2% in 2010) as well as in terms of the value of that freight (65.5%). The pie chart shows the percentage of total freight moved by each type of transportation vehicle, both in terms of weight and value. What is clear and quite logical is that the value of items moved by air is quite high but those items don’t weigh much. To move heavier freight, such as construction materials, heavy machinery, agricultural commodities, coal and the like, the nation’s highways, waterways and railways are the economical answer, and for the heaviest items, the latter two networks are the more economical.

Today’s market size is the weight of domestic freight moved by trucks in the United States last year and the revenue those movements produced for the trucking industry.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2012
Market size: 9.4 billion tons moved, generating $643 billion in revenue for the trucking industry
Source: Benjamin Preston, “Wheelies: The Stingray’s Stinger Edition,” Wheels.blogs.nytimes, May 30, 2013, available here. The data used to produce the graphic are from Freight Facts and Figures 2011, “Tables 2-1, 2-1M and 2-2.
Original Source: American Trucking Association and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.
Posted on June 5, 2013

Motorized Bicycles

Ford Motor Company's eBike

Motorized bicycles can be pedaled as standard bicycles or they can be ridden with the use of a gasoline- or electric-powered engine. In 2011, Ford Motor Company introduced the E-Bike at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This bicycle has a lithium-ion battery similar to ones in newer hybrid and electric automobiles. Market share for motorized bicycles is increasing worldwide and expected to grow steadily through the 2010s.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2010 and forecasted 2018
Market size: 30 million and 47 million units respectively with an estimated total revenue of $11.9 billion by 2018.
Source: Carrie Jones, “A Ford Bicycle,” My Ford, Spring 2012, page 9, and a report by Pike Research, “Annual Sales of Electric Bicycles Will Surpass 47 Million by 2018,” March 27, 2012, available online here. The picture comes from Ford’s media site, here.
Posted on August 7, 2012

Air Travel Globally

Despite the dramatic declines in air travel for several years following the terrorist attacks in 2001, over the last decade, humans have been flying more and more. Worldwide, approximately 513 million passengers traveled by air in 1991 and by 2007 that figure had quadrupled, reaching 2,076 million.

Today’s market size is the value of the global airline business in 2007 and a forecast of the value in the year 2012. What is not evident from these revenue based figures is the fact that airlines, despite their growth, have not added up to a profitable business sector. In fact, since deregulation in the United States in 1978, airlines as a whole have lost money.

Geographic reference: World
Year: Forecast for 2007 and forecast for 2012
Market size: $430 billion and $711 billion respectively
Source: “The Global Airline Industry Will Reach a Value of $711 Billion in 2012, Forecasts New Report,” a press release dated March 14, 2009, announcing the publication of a market report being offered through a web service called “Report Buyer.” The press release is available here. The original report is titled Airlines: Global Industry Guide.
Original source: Datamonitor
Posted on September 16, 2011

Trucking, General Freight

General freight truckingToday we look at the revenues generated by general freight trucking firms and specifically, those with employees. Today’s market size does not include the revenues generated by independent truckers who are categorized as nonemployers. The graph charts estimated revenues from 2001 through 2009 and presents them for local freight movements as well as long-distance.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2001 and 2009
Market size: $107.32 billion and $117.58 billion respectively
Source: “Table 2.1 Transportation and Warehousing (NAICS 48, 49) – Estimated Revenue for Employer Firms: 2001 through 2009,” Service Annual Survey 2009, page 9, issued in February 2011 and available online here.
Original source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau
Posted on September 15, 2011

Public Transportation

The Capital Area Transit Authority (CATA) is the largest public transit provider in the Lansing, Michigan tri-county area. The tri-county area consists of Ingham, Clinton, and Eaton counties. CATA has been operating public transportation in the area since 1972. Ridership grew steadily during the 1970s, before leveling off during the 1980s and most of the 1990s. During the 1980s and 1990s, the number of rides fluctuated around 3-4 million annually. In 1999, CATA took over the Michigan State University bus service. Since then ridership has increased nearly 3-fold. In contrast, the population of the tri-county area grew by 22.6% from 1970 to 2010. Data represent the number of rides annually on CATA vehicles in 1972 and 2010.

Geographic reference: Lansing, Michigan area
Year: 1972 and 2010
Market size: Less than 1 million rides and 11.35 million rides respectively
Source: “CATA Demand Grows with Community Need,” CATA 2011 Community Report: Greater Lansing on the Move, August 2011; Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, “Tri-County Regional Growth: Choices for Our Future,” Draft Report, August 2002 available online here; “Ingham County, Michigan” available online here; “Clinton County, Michigan” available online here; and “Eaton County, Michigan” available online here

Freight by Rail

Moving large volumes of freight over long distances is an energy intensive proposal and something we do very regularly these days. In fact, with the rise of globalization humanity is now moving more over greater distances than ever before. Moving cargo by rail is the second most efficient means of transporting it—the first being transport over water. Coal is the commodity whose movement on railroads accounts for the largest percentage of tonnage moved by Class I Railroad operators in the United States (44%) and the largest percentage of gross revenue, when divided out by commodity type, for these operators (24%).

Today’s market size is the tonnage carried by U.S. Class I Railroads in 2010 and the value of the corresponding gross revenue earned for their transportation. The revenue number does not adjust for such things as incentive rebates offered by the railroad operators. U.S. Class I Railroads in 2010 were the following: BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Grand Trunk Corporation, Kansas City Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Combined Railroad Subsidiaries, Soo Line Corporation, and Union Pacific Railroad.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2010
Market size: 1.85 billion tons and $57.44 billion in gross revenues
Source: “Class I Railroad Statistics,” June 17, 2011, a report produced by the Policy and Economics Department of the Association of American Railroads. Here is a link to the report.
Original source: Association of American Railroads

Airline Industry Worldwide

At the Show in 2009

Today’s market size is the estimated net profits of the worldwide airline industry. The Paris Air Show is being celebrated this week and the press coverage of this important aerospace industry show is providing many interesting glimpses of the industry. The most recent recession combined with high energy costs hit the airline industry hard, causing two years of losses. Financial returns in 2010 represent a return to profitability for the industry as a whole. The mood is good at this year’s Paris Air Show as aircraft manufacturers are hopeful that orders will be healthy this year.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2010
Market size: $18 billion (Global airline industry net profits)
Source: Nicole Clark, “At the Paris Air Show, Anticipating a Surge in Sales,” The New York Times, June 18, 2011, page B1. The image used above is from the Paris Air Show website, here.

Space Shuttle Services

Photo from NASA

Today’s market size is a bit of an exercise in guessing the low-end, ballpark size of a market for space shuttle services for the coming few years. We base this estimate on three things: (1) NASA’s labor commitments to the International Space Station (ISS) between 2011 and 2017, (2) the per astronaut cost to NASA of a ride to and from the ISS on the Russian Soyuz Spacecraft, and (3) a contract signed by NASA to contract with SpaceX, a private company, to provide cargo delivery services to the ISS. Clearly, this simple estimate is only an approximation of the potential of this market. Defined more broadly—to include, for example, what is often called space tourism—the market size in coming years is much larger.

What we present here is the minimum market size for shuttle services to the ISS based on NASA demand that grows out of the United State’s closing down of its own Shuttle Program.

Happy final journey, Shuttle Endeavor!

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2012—2017
Market size: $3.18 Billion
Source: “NASA’s Cost to Hitch a Ride on Russian Rocket Rises,” CFNews13.com, March 15, 2011, available online here. “How Many Astronauts Does NASA Need?” Universe Today, December 7, 2010, available online here. “The Shuttle Program Is Winding Down—What Next?” PCWorld, May 16, 2011, available online here. Finally, the photo used above is from NASA’s site here.

Crude Oil Supply

Based on a report recently issued by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the supply of crude oil for U.S. energy needs, from all sources, is anticipated to decline between 2009 and 2025. On a per capita basis this decline is rather large, 15.3%. This is because the population is projected to increase by 16.4% between 2009 and 2025 while the supply of crude oil is forecast to decline by 1.39%. Obviously, new sources of petroleum supply will be (are) in high demand, not to mention all other forms of energy.

Today’s market size is the daily supply in millions of barrels per day (mbpd) of crude oil in the United States, for 2009 and projected for 2025.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2009 and 2025
Market size: In 2009, 14.33 mbpd and in 2025, 14.13 mbpd
Source: “Table C4. Liquid Fuel Supply and Disposition,” Annual Energy Outlook 2011, With Projections to 2035, April 2011, page 175, available online here.
Original source: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration