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384     HELICOPTER AIR SERVICE PROGRAM

During this period of population growth economic activity within the United States will be occurring at an even greater rate. From a 1960 base the value of goods and services produced in the United States (Gross National Product) will increase from $504 billion to $892 billion by 1975 or an increase of a little more than 75 per cent. The fact that Gross National Product will increase at a rate in excess of that for population means that the average amount of personal income available to individuals and families will increase. In 1960 the average family had available personal disposable income of slightly over $7,000; by 1975 the average should increase to just under $10,000 (in 1960 dollars). Not only will the average family income be higher, but this upward shift will bring a higher percentage of families into income brackets where discretionary income becomes a more important factor in the purchase of consumer goods and services.

What do these substantial increases in population, in US business activity and in consumer buying power mean for the transportation needs of the nation? First of all, we can assume in most cases that demand for transportation services as a whole will increase at a rate roughly comparable to the growth in our national economy, or, in the case of urban and intra-urban transportation, at a rate more closely tied to the growth in our urban population. The growth and concentration of population within the nation's urban areas will result in increased commutation travel between the central city and the suburban-fringe and between points located within the suburban-fringe, adding to the already heavy surface traffic congestion existing today. In 1960 a total of 39,420,000 US workers commuted daily across central city limits in the metropolitan areas of the country. Of this number, 57 per cent of these commuters were located in the 22 metropolitan areas with populations of more than a million each. An increase of 30 per cent in the size of the US urban population should bring the total of daily commuters in urban areas to over 50 million by 1975. Many areas must plan for traffic increases of well in excess of 30 per cent as their population growth rates will be greater than the average for the country as a whole. This group will include principally cities in the Southwest, on the Pacific Coast and in Florida. In terms of absolute increases in commuter traffic the metropolitan areas having the greatest growth will include the ten areas of Los Angeles-Long Beach, New York-Northeast New Jersey, Chicago-Northeast Indiana, Detroit, San Francisco-Oakland, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston and Miami.

Intercity business travel will increase under the stimulus of an expanding economy and personal travel will increase as more and more people have more and more disposable personal income available for the purchase of recreational and other forms of personal travel. The demand for intercity travel should rise to approximately 1,238 billion passenger miles by 1975, an increase of 56 per cent over the 1962 level of 790 billion. This means that the average US citizen will travel 5,500 miles a year, an increase of 1,300 over that of 1960.

Increased demand for transportation on the part of residents of the United States will not be confined to that performed within our national boundaries. Travel abroad will be stimulated by rising incomes and by a general desire on the part of Americans to see other countries of the world. The number of US citizens traveling abroad by sea and air should increase by 150 per cent by 1975 under projections of disposable personal income and higher rates of expenditure for foreign travel. As is the case today, the demand for foreign travel, on the part of US citizens, will be highly concentrated in a few large metropolitan areas. At present four metropolitan areas - the New York-Northeast New Jersey area, the Los Angeles-Long Beach area, the San Francisco-Oakland area and Chicago - account for approximately half of all US passport requests. In addition to generating the bulk of demand for overseas travel, these metropolitan areas also serve as the major air and sea gateways for foreign travel originating at other cities in the country.

US population and economic growth will result in substantial increases in all areas of transportation demand, therefore. In only a little over ten years the United States must provide for an overall transportation system which will accommodate about a 30 per cent increase in urban transportation, an increase of over 50 per cent in intercity travel and an increase of 150 per cent in travel to foreign countries overseas. To make regional transportation planning problems more acute, increases in all segments of demand will be concentrated to a high degree in a relatively few large super-metropolitan regions and for many of these areas, provision must be made for traffic increase at rates of increase which are much higher than for the US urban area as a whole.

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