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Although only 19% of the population live in rural areas, more than 70% of the U.S.’s four million miles of roadways are in rural areas. The rural transportation system also includes numerous airports; railways; inland and coastal waterways; rural and intercity buses; and bicycle, pedestrian, and multi-use paths and trails. In addition, approximately 47% of the nation’s motor vehicle fatalities occur in rural areas.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Research Report 988: Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap is designed to assist state departments of transportation and other public agencies and help inform policy–driven investment decisions.

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