O’Hare International Airport is one of the world’s busiest, with non-stop services to 46 international and 134 domestic locations. Fast-growing Midway Airport is one of the busiest US airports. Chicago is the world’s third-largest intermodal container nexus (the largest in the hemisphere) and is the only gateway exchange point for all six of North America’s class 1 railways.
Chicago is the continent’s distribution hub, with 200 truck terminals, six interstate highways and 3138 miles of federal and state highway. An elevated and subway mass transit system serves Chicago and several suburbs, and the entire region is served by commuter rail extending about 115km. The Port of Chicago is capable of handling ocean-going ships and barges and is linked to the Atlantic via the St Lawrence Seaway, and the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River.
New York City came in second, with Boston and Denver tying in third place.
Texas supports a state-of-the-art transportation network that facilitates the movement of people, goods and information. It has 26 points of entry, providing direct access to the markets of Mexico and Latin America. The temperate climate means fewer transport delays due to severe weather.
The state has 26 commercial airports in 23 major cities with an economic impact of almost $34.9m. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the fourth busiest airport in the nation, serving more than 53 million passengers in 2003. George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston served more than 34 million passengers in 2003. Fort Worth Alliance Airport is the first airport to be built strictly to serve the intermodal distribution needs of business. Three major airlines – Continental, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines – are based in Texas.
Forty-four railways operate on almost 12,000 miles of track to carry more than 335 million tons of freight a year. There is access to Mexico’s industrial north with five gateways into Mexico by rail.
Texas has 300,000 miles of public roads, more than any other state, and the planned Trans Texas Corridor is expected to revolutionise mobility in Texas.
There are 13 deep-water ports in the state with channels at least 30 feet deep; and 29 seaports line the Gulf Coast. The Port of Houston is ranked first in the nation in foreign waterborne commerce, and ranks second in the nation and sixth in the world in total tonnage.
Texas has 10 bus and rail agencies carrying more than two million passengers a year.
New York State took second in this category and Georgia third.