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March 15 -- The Census Bureau invites public comments by May 14, 2021 regarding the proposed reinstatement of the Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (VIUS) in 2022.
 
The Census Bureau plans to conduct a reinstated Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (VIUS) in 2022. VIUS was the principal data source on the physical and operational characteristics of the nation's truck population from 1963 through 2002 and was conducted every five years in conjunction with the Quinquennial Economic Census. The survey was discontinued prior to the 2007 survey due to budget constraints. The discontinuation of the survey left a significant void in the U.S. Department of Transportation's knowledge of the U.S. truck fleet. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics is restoring the VIUS with its partners, the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Census Bureau will collect VIUS under the mandatory requirements of Title 13, Sections 131 and 182, of the U.S.C. as in previous economic censuses.

VIUS utilizes a sample of Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) for trucks registered in the 50 states and District of Columbia. The sample includes both personally-owned and commercially-owned trucks. VIUS excludes trucks owned by federal, state, and local governments; ambulances; buses; motor homes; farm tractors; unpowered trailer units; and passenger cars.

Since the last VIUS was conducted nearly 20 years ago, some of the questionnaire content required updates. In particular, questions related to vehicle technology have been modified to reflect more recent safety and fuel economy features. Modified content includes emerging technologies such as driver assistance systems, collision warning and collision intervention features, driving control, and parking assistance features. New questions were also added based on stakeholder input collected during the years since the 2002 VIUS. This new content includes topics such as towing capacity, maintenance costs, time spent idling, use of overweight permits, and mileage driven while cubed out or weighed out.

VIUS data are of considerable value to government, business, academia, and the general public. Data on the number and types of vehicles and how they are used are important in studying the future growth of transportation and are needed in calculating fees and cost allocations among highway users. The data also are important in evaluating safety risks to highway travelers and in assessing the energy efficiency and environmental impact of the nation's truck fleet.
 
Data are collected via two questionnaires based on truck type, one for light trucks (pickups, SUVs, minivans) and one for heavy trucks (including truck tractors). Content differs somewhat between the two forms. Form Number(s): TC-9501 (Light Trucks) and TC-9502 (Heavy Trucks).
 
VIUS website: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/vius.html
Draft questionnaires:   https://www.dropbox.com/sh/po88m4aap8l56nv/AAD-QiMo9C0jAx6aP-K7LlgKa?dl=0
FR notice inviting public comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/03/15/2021-05231/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-omb-for

Point of contact: Kelly Holder, VIUS Branch Chief, (301) 763-3462, Kelly.A.Holder@census.gov

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