This paper provides an overview of current seismic ground motion criteria for transportation infrastructures in USA. This is to facilitate an understanding of current seismic performance levels and design practices in USA for transportation professionals world-wide, especially those in Asian and Pacific regions. Seismic vulnerability of a transportation infrastructure is determined by the risk associated with the seismic ground motion and specified performance criteria. Determining an acceptable seismic risk is a very complex task that must consider both social and economic aspects. Obviously, the amount of risk that a railway bridge can accept may be different from that of a highway bridge. The economic tolerance in one country may be different from that in another country for the same type of infrastructure. In this paper, seismic performance levels and design criteria of ground motion for highway bridges, railway bridges and ports’ container wharves in USA are reviewed, and design examples are presented to demonstrate how to develop the code-based and site-specific design acceleration response spectra and time histories.