Recreational Vehicles

Recreational vehicle

With Spring right around the corner and summer not far behind, have you been thinking about taking a vacation? Do your daydreams of a relaxing getaway include camping? If so, you are not alone. More than 77 million households in the United States include someone who enjoys this activity.

Most campers use tents but nearly one-quarter prefer the safety and comfort of a recreational vehicle, or RV. While a large percentage either borrow or rent their motorhome or towable camper, 56% own theirs. Just a few years ago, in 2014, a majority of people who camped using RVs were baby boomers or older. By 2017, 70% of RV campers were Millenials and Generation Xers. RV manufacturers are taking notice. The recreational vehicles of today are not the rustic accommodations of yesteryear. Newer models are equipped with solar panels, USB ports, entertainment systems, and wi-fi signal boosters.

Today’s market size shows the total wholesale shipments of RVs in the United States in 1998, 2008, and 2018. Leading manufacturers include Thor Industries, Forest River, and Winnebago Industries. Ford Motor Co. makes the chassis, engines, and transmissions for most of the motorhomes in the United States. By state, the highest percentage of recreational vehicles were shipped to Texas, followed by California and Florida. Ohio and Michigan tied for fourth.

Shipments for 2018 were down from a high of 504,600 in 2017. They are forecast to drop farther in 2019. According to Frank Hugelmeyer, President of the RV Industry Association, “slowing sales were inevitable due in part to the fact that so many Americans have bought RVs over the past decade.” Another factor may be RV prices. They are expected to climb due to increases in the cost of raw materials and components, such as microwaves, stoves, and lighting as a result of the tariffs imposed on goods from China and Canada. While 83% of recreational vehicles are manufactured in Indiana, many of the components are imported from other countries.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1998, 2008 and 2018
Market size: 292,700, 237,000 and 483,700, respectively
Sources: Trevor Hughes, “Youth Movement Is Driving RVs,” USA Today for the Lansing State Journal, January 28, 2019, pages 1B and 2B; “Addition of 6 Million New North American Campers Since 2014 Showcases Continued Popularity of Camping,” The National RV Dealers Association News Release, April 11, 2018 available online here; The 2018 North American Camping Report, Kampgrounds of America, Inc. available online here; RV Industry Association Staff, “RV Industry Association’s 2017 Profile Now Available,” RV Industry Association, June 6, 2018 available online here; “Historical RV Data,” RV Industry Association available online here; Dale Buss, “RV Sales Boom Is Fueled By Millenials as They Overturn Stereotypes and Enjoy The Itinerant Life,” Forbes, December 29, 2017 available online here; Peter Valdes-Dapena, “RVs Are Back and Bigger Than Ever,” CNN Business July 12, 2017 available online here.
Image source: Airstream Inc., “Airstream Travel Trailer in Nature,” Unsplash, October 2, 2018 available online here. Use of image does not constitute endorsement.

Auto Industry Economic Impact

auto industry camaroGeneral Motors’ announcement of the 2019 closing of assembly plants in North America created uncertainty for 14,000 families in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. These 14,000, both blue-collar and white-collar workers alike, are direct employees of General Motors. But sadness and uncertainty reverberated throughout many industries. According to the Center for Automotive Research, in the United States, more than 7 million private sector jobs are supported by the auto industry. Steel mills, logistics companies, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and child care centers are just some of the businesses negatively impacted by plant shutdowns and layoffs,1 as automotive companies buy fewer supplies and services and workers cut back on expenses. Businesses in close proximity to auto plants, those that rely on workers spending money in their stores and restaurants, are more heavily impacted than some when plants close.

Today’s market size shows the amount of annual compensation of employees working in industries supported by the auto industry in the United States. In 2014, the last year for which data are available, 570,000 jobs were supported by the auto industry in Michigan, where auto industry employment accounts for more than 11% of the labor force.

1 According to General Motors, some of the workers that will be laid off at General Motors’ plants will be offered jobs at other manufacturing facilities either in Michigan or in another state.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2018
Market size: $500 billion
Sources: Eric D. Lawrence, “Pain of GM Closures Is Far-Reaching,” Lansing State Journal, December 3, 2018, page 6A; Jamie L. LaReau, “General Motors to Close Detroit, Ohio, Canada Plants,” Detroit Free Press, November 26, 2018 available online here.
Original source: Center for Automotive Research
Image source: AnSICHThoch3, “auto-chevrolet-camaro-road-1112183,” Pixabay, January 2, 2016 available online here. Use of image does not constitute endorsement.

Public Transportation in the Lansing, Michigan Area

Public TransportationThe Capital Area Transportation 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. Bus ridership both nationally and locally continued to decline in 2017. Nationally bus ridership dropped by 4.3 percent in 2017. CATA saw a ridership decline of 6.0 percent overall that same year.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, several factors contributed to the multi-year decline in bus ridership overall. Gas prices remained low and the ability to obtain car loans, including sub-prime car loans for those with poor credit, became easier. More employees are working from home. In 2016, 66% of employers allowed some of their employees to work from home occasionally; 40% allowed some employees to work regularly from home, a drastic change from a decade ago. The use of transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft along with bike-sharing services and biking, in general, have become more popular. Customers who employ these services may find them more convenient to use, allowing them to get to their destination sooner than if they would take public transportation.

In response to the increased popularity of bike-sharing across the country, CATA partnered with Michigan State University and the cities of Lansing, East Lansing and Meridian Township to study the feasibility of bike-sharing programs in the region in 2018. Bike-sharing is one way of meeting a commuter’s need for transportation to and from a bus stop or transit facility in order to more easily access the public transportation system.

Today’s market size represents the number of rides annually on CATA vehicles in 1972 and 2017.

Geographic reference: Lansing, Michigan area
Year: 1972 and 2017
Market size: Less than 1 million rides and 10.2 million rides respectively
Sources: Pam Latka, “Fiscal 2017 Ridership Closes at 10.2 Million,” CATA Drives: 2018 Community Report, September 2018, page 5; Understanding Recent Ridership Changes, American Public Transportation Association, April 2018 available online here; “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.
Image source: “CATA Administrative Offices,” available online here. No copyright infringement intended.

Train Batteries

train

Steel Rails, chasing sunshine ’round the bend

Winding through the trees like a ribbon in the wind

I don’t mind not knowing what lies down the track

‘Cause I’m looking out ahead

To keep my mind from turning back

— Chorus from the song “Steel Rails” by Louisa Branscomb

Worldwide, passengers traveled a total of 3.7 trillion kilometers by train in 2016. That same year, more than 9.9 trillion tonne kilometers of freight were shipped. The vast majority of passenger kilometers traveled, 80%, were in Asia and Oceania1; the fewest were in America, which includes both the United States and Canada. Two regions were nearly evenly split on the percentage of tonne kilometers of freight shipped by rail: Asia and Oceania with 37% and America with 31%. The Russian Federation followed with 23%. A total of 1.1 million rail lines allow for the transport of passengers and freight worldwide, more than a third of which are in America, followed by Asia and Oceania (28%) and Europe (24%).2

Whether a train is transporting passengers or freight, all use batteries either as backup power, for engine starting, as storage systems to capture energy recovered from braking or to power the trains themselves. Today’s market size shows the estimated sales of train batteries in 2018 and projected for 2025. The market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 5.15% during this time period as more people around the world become dependent on rail transport.

Currently, lead-acid batteries are the predominate battery used in rolling stock, but as lithium-ion batteries become more economical and efficient and demand for maintenance-free batteries increases, they are expected to be the type of battery most used by the end of this time period. In the future, demand for environmentally-friendly bullet trains and autonomous trains with advanced features such as automated doors, infotainment systems, and passenger information systems will spur sales of train batteries as these types of trains require significantly more power.

1 Excludes Russia and Turkey
2 Includes Turkey

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2018 and 2025
Market size: $470.5 million and $703.2 million, respectively
Sources: “From a Market Size of USD 470.5 million in 2018, The Train Battery Market is Projected to Reach USD 703.2 Million by 2025, at a CAGR of 5.15%,” Cison PR Newswire, October 18, 2018 available online here; “Rail Transport in the World,” International Union of Railways, September 7, 2018 available online here; Fred Lambert, “Bombardier Unveils a New Battery Powered Train,” Electrek, September 14, 2018 available online here; “Rail,” available online here; and “Wayside Energy Storage Systems,” available online here.
Image source: axiepix, “train-tracks-winter-snow-trees-613386,” Pixabay, January 27, 2015 available online here.

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