This industry includes establishments primarily engaged in the operation of motor vehicle passenger terminals and of maintenance and service facilities not operated by companies that also furnish motor vehicle passenger transportation. Establishments that are owned by motor vehicle passenger transportation companies and are primarily engaged in operating terminals for use of such vehicles are classified in the same industry as establishments providing motor vehicle transportation. Separate maintenance and service facilities operated by companies furnishing motor vehicle passenger transportation are treated as auxiliaries. Establishments that provide motor vehicle maintenance or service for the general public are classified in various automotive repair industries, such as SIC 7533: Automotive Exhaust System Repair Shops and SIC 7538: General Automotive Repair Shops.
Other Support Activities for Road Transportation
The majority of motor vehicle passenger terminals and maintenance facilities in the United States, whether their mode of transportation was bus, train, or some other method, were owned and operated by companies that also were directly involved in the transport of passengers. As a result, the terminal and service facility operations of those companies—like bus transportation leader Greyhound Lines Inc. and railway leader Amtrak—are included among their overall transportation services and are classified with those services, rather than in this industrial classification.
The independent facilities in this industry have suffered from steadily waning intercity bus use. Back in the 1920s, more than 4,000 intercity bus companies operated in the United States, and by the mid-1940s the bus transport industry registered 27 billion passenger miles annually. The popularity of this mode of transportation in turn spurred the success of terminal and service facilities of the time. Due to the increasing availability of personal-use vehicles, however, Americans increasingly traveled between cities in their own vehicles. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 98 percent of all passenger miles were traveled in personal vehicles (automobiles, motorcycles, and light-duty trucks) in 2001. From 1980 to 2001, transit and intercity bus and rail use increased by 10 billion passenger miles, or 23 percent, but that only accounted for 2 percent of all passenger miles. The...