Segments in this Video

New York City Transportation (07:25)


With a high population density that is increasing, New York struggles to transport people. People travel by plane, boat, and car, but most travel by train and subway. Built in 1900, the subway system encouraged people to live in outer boroughs and determined the development of the city.

School Bus System (02:47)

School buses carry 26 million students per day in the U.S. School bus driver Mike drives over 160 miles every day, transporting kids in Arizona to school.

Railroads (05:23)

The first major system to cross the country, trains used to be the fastest way to travel long distances. All train routes had to go through Chicago and freight trains still are sorted and classified here using a remote control method. The government has proposed a funding solution for railroad travel, but few use passenger trains any more.

Air Travel and Passengers (04:07)

Airplane travel transports millions of people a day, speeding up life and business. Insurance salesman Dean explains his schedule and travel techniques. Planes also move dead people and prisoners.

Flight Navigation (03:06)

Mike Rogan manages the air beacons at MacDonald Pass, Montana, where the mountains prevent use of radar. Early on, planes used bonfires, then gas beacons for navigation at night.

Management of Flight Plans (07:31)

The Federal Aviation Administration manages air traffic, using control towers for takeoff and regional control centers for ascent to 10,000 feet. The Air Traffic Control System command center oversees all flights in the U.S., updating flight plans based on weather and radar technology. In Alaska where much travel is by flight, poor visibility and mountains cause many accidents, so planes are using GPS systems; the FAA is pioneering a program to install GPS in all planes.

Car Lifestyle and Suburbia (07:07)

Most Americans prefer to drive, and an immense highway system combined with suburban housing allows this. Greg Jordan uses time-lapse photography to analyze traffic and send information to transportation planners. Kwon traces the daily paths of several suburban families, finding that they drive everywhere, spending most of their day in the car.

Solutions to Traffic (05:24)

In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, an endless cycle of road construction attempts to manage the new residents and housing developments, but many old roads cannot cope with rising traffic. In Las Vegas, transportation expert Jacob Snow uses software and live video to analyze traffic, and then adjusts traffic signals accordingly.

Los Angeles Traffic and Car Culture (05:03)

With more cars than any other county and no traffic management system like Las Vegas, Los Angeles has some of the country’s worst traffic. In the early 1900s, most traveled by streetcars, but road construction in the 1940s transformed transportation and culture. Traffic reporter Chuck Street watches traffic from a helicopter, and wonders when traffic will get slow enough for people to accept public transportation.

Limits and Future of Transportation (03:46)

The transportation system in the U.S. is aging and faces the challenges of a growing population with new needs. Technology can solve some issues, but comes with a high cost. As Kwon travels back to New York, he meets Dean who discusses balancing family life and travel.

Credits: Nation on the Move (00:60)

Credits: Nation on the Move

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Nation on the Move

Part of the Series : America Revealed
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



America is a nation of vast distances and dense urban clusters, woven together by 200,000 miles of railroads, 5,000 airports, and four million miles of roads. These massive, complex transportation systems combine to make Americans the most mobile people on earth. Accompany host Yul Kwon as he journeys across the continent by air, road and rail, venturing behind the scenes with the workers who get us where we need to go. At the Federal Aviation Administration command center, listen in on a call with NASA, the secret service, the military, and every major airline to learn how our national flight plan works today. Go along as he meets innovators creating ways to propel us farther and faster in years to come; in Las Vegas, he heads out into the wild night to see how transportation analysts are keeping traffic at bay by revolutionizing the use of one basic tool: the traffic light. Uncover the minor miracles and uphill battles involved in moving more than 300 million Americans every day on infrastructure built in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL151064

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

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