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The Transportation Services Index (TSI) in March ratcheted up 0.3 percent from February's level to 114.4, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). On a year-over-year basis, the index rose 1.8 percent.The Freight TSI in March also increased 0.3 percent from February's level, reaching 113.7. The index measures the monthly output of for-hire rail, trucking, inland waterway, pipeline and air freight firms."The Freight TSI increased for a fifth consecutive month in March, though more slowly than the average growth of the index in that period," BTS officials said in a press release. "There was growth across most freight modes but seasonally adjusted rail traffic declined. Shipments of coal and grain by rail showed year-to-year declines."Compared with March 2012's level, the Freight TSI rose 2.8 percent. With the March increase, the index has exceeded its 2012 range for three months in a row, BTS officials said.Meanwhile, the Passenger TSI in March inched up 0.2 percent to 116.1. However, the index — which measures the monthly output of for-hire air, local transit and intercity rail providers — declined 0.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.In the first quarter, the TSI increased 0.9 percent, Freight TSI rose 1.3 percent and Passenger TSI inched up 0.1 percent compared with first-quarter 2012 levels.
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