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The National Household Travel Survey. Heather Contrino US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. About the NHTS…. Only national data source on travel demand and travel behavior of the American public. Measures travel by US households for all modes and all purposes

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Presentation Transcript

The National Household

Travel Survey

Heather Contrino

US Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration

About the nhts
About the NHTS…

  • Only national data source on travel demand and travel behavior of the American public.

  • Measures travel by US households for all modes and all purposes

  • Survey conducted since 1969

Nhts core data content
NHTS modes…Core Data Content

  • Households

  • Persons

  • Geography

  • Vehicles

  • Trips

Major Contribution

Linkage between people,

travel and vehicles

New 2008 nhts content
New 2008 NHTS Content modes…

  • Congestion

    • Interstate use and tolling

    • Telecommuting – opportunity and frequency

    • Work arrival time and flexibility

  • Safety

    • Safe Travel to School

    • Travel impacts of disability

  • Energy and Environment

    • Shopping by Internet and deliveries to the household

    • Hybrid/Alternative fuel vehicles

    • Fuel costs by vehicle type and travel behavior

  • Intermodalism

    • Access, egress, and travel party size

    • Frequency of walk and bike

    • Motorcycle ownership and use

The nhts program
The NHTS Program modes…

  • National Study

    • Serves the department, congress, and administration

    • Resource for State and metropolitan areas (MPOs) and transportation community

    • 40 years of trend data on U.S. travel behavior

    • Sample size of 25,000 households

  • Add-On Program

    • Service to States and MPOs since 1990

    • Allows States and MPOs to purchase additional samples for their local area

    • Program participation has doubled every survey year

      (Sample size of 125,000 households for 2008)

2008 NHTS Travel Data for 150,000 Households

2008 add on program
2008 Add-On Program modes…

125,000 Add-On Samples

Vermont DOT

Wisconsin DOT

South Dakota DOT

New York State DOT

Cedar Rapids, IA

Iowa DOT

Indiana DOT

Omaha, Nebraska

California DOT

Virginia DOT

North Carolina DOT

Tennessee DOT

Piedmont Region

Maricopa, AZ

South Carolina DOT

Pima, AZ

Georgia DOT

Texas DOT

Florida DOT

2008 NHTS Schedule modes…

  • April 2009 - Data collection completed

  • June 2009 - Final unweighted data for QA

  • August 2009 - Add-On GIS files

  • August 2009 – Draft final weighted file for QA

  • October 2009 – Final weighted data and documentation

    • Add-Ons receive final data

  • January 2009 – Public use data set

    • On-line analysis tool available for 2008

  • March 2009 – Final full documentation and users guide

How can NHTS help modes…you?

Identifying trends in demand
Identifying Trends in Demand modes…

Huge growth in travel since 1969, however demand (number of trips) has leveled off over the past decade

Base: NHTS data series, travelers 16+

Understanding mode use
Understanding Mode Use modes…

Purpose Distribution of Transit Trips

Source: 2001 NHTS

Measure how access impacts behavior
Measure how access impacts behavior… modes…

Source: NHTS series since 1969

Quantify the link between demographics and mobility
Quantify the link between demographics and mobility modes…

This is the daily range of travel for a high income African American

This is the daily range of travel for a low-income African American

And demographics and safety
And demographics and safety… modes…

Base: NHTS data on driver miles by age and FARS fatalities

And when and why people drive

Commute modes…

Fam/Pers (inc. Shop)







Person Trips in Millions




























Start Hour

And when and why people drive

To look at changes in the fleet mix
To look at changes in the fleet mix… modes…

Hybrid/Alternative Fuel Vehicles by State

Source: NHTS 2008 preliminary

And forecast future demand
And forecast future demand modes…

Estimated on current VMT/person from NHTS and Census population forecast

Safety planning california
Safety Planning - California modes…

Pedestrian Fatalities per Mile of Exposure

Source: 2001 FARS pedestrian Fatalities and NHTS 2001 miles walked

Model calibration wisconsin
Model Calibration - Wisconsin modes…

HBW Observed Vs Predicted Trip Length Frequency

Source: 2001 NHTS Bruce Aunet, WI DOT & Cambridge Systematics Inc.

Air quality new york
Air Quality - New York modes…

Vehicle Starts, Trip Lengths by Time of Day and Vehicle Utilization

Source: 2001 NHTS

Performance Measures - Virginia modes…


Trip Length Distribution

Trips by time of day

Source: 2001 NHTS

Special studies florida
Special Studies - Florida modes…

  • Hurricane Evacuation Planning

  • Weekend and Holiday Travel Planning

  • Event Planning

  • Seasonal Resident Impact

Nhts products
NHTS Products modes…

  • State Profiles

  • Policy Briefs

  • Trends Database

  • Transferability

  • On-line Analysis Tool

  • Risk Assessment Tool

    • AAA Traffic Safety Foundation




Accessing nhts products
Accessing NHTS Products modes…

Contact Heather Contrino, FHWA

  • State Profiles

  • Policy Briefs:

  • Trends Database: To be posted soon

  • Transferable data for trip generation


  • Risk Assessment Tool:


  • On-line Analysis Tool:

    • SAS Data Set:

Thank You! modes…

Heather Contrino

[email protected]

Future Program Goals modes…

  • Methods

    • Coverage and Response Rates

      • Cellular phones and non-contacts

  • Periodicity

    • Real time reporting environment

    • Continuous study design/annual reporting

  • Relevant Content

    • Establishing regular, reliable performance measures

    • Maintaining trends while addressing new policy and planning questions