GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
"Gathering pipelines" carry natural gas or hazardous liquid from wells to other pipelines or facilities. The Department of Transportation recently started collecting data on all of these pipelines—such as size and construction material—to better understand safety risks.
The Highway Trust Fund—the major source of federal road and bridge funding—is largely supported by gas taxes. This revenue is decreasing as fuel economy standards increase and more alternative fuel vehicles travel the roads.
Coastal, Great Lakes, and inland ports are critical to the U.S. economy. Aside from moving freight, ports across the U.S. have a variety of non-freight activities—like cruise ship and ferry terminals, commercial fishing, recreation, and commercial and residential development.
Transit agencies and local governments have encouraged the development of mixed-use residential and commercial neighborhoods near bus or rail services to increase ridership and revenues. Local stakeholders and developers plan and build these "transit-oriented developments.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on the U.S. aviation industry. Passenger traffic in April 2020 was 96% lower than April 2019, and stayed 60% below 2019 levels in 2020. Effects cascaded across airports, repair shops, and the supply chain.
People rely on the 146,000 bridges in the National Highway System. Most of the bridges are made of materials that are susceptible to corrosion—a leading cause of bridge failure. The percentage of bridges in "good" condition has declined since 2016.
If U.S. roads aren't built to withstand changes in the climate, they may be unsafe routes for emergency evacuations and expensive to fix after a disaster. Climate-related damages to paved roads may cost up to $20 billion annually by the end of the century.
After a series of high-profile accidents, the Federal Transit Administration was tasked with playing a larger role in overseeing safety for public transportation. It now works with transit agencies to develop data-driven safety plans, among other activities.
The Keystone Pipeline has transported over 3 billion barrels of crude oil from Canada to U.S. refineries since 2010. Keystone's accident history is similar to other pipelines, but the severity of its spills has worsened in recent years due to 2 large spills in 2017 and 2019.