Long Distance and Rural Travel Transferable Parameters for Statewide Travel Forecasting Models

In the last 15 to 20 years, many state departments of transportation have undertaken the development of statewide transportation planning demand models. To date, over 30 states have developed or are developing such models. These models are often used to help formulate policies, to prioritize projects, and to identify the potential revenue streams from toll road, intercity rail, and other major transportation investments. Some of these models can provide input to urban models due to their ability to capture market segments not well represented in urban area forecasting tools. Because these models play such a significant role in the planning process, careful and thoughtful evaluation of how well statewide models reproduce existing travel markets as well as their sensitivity to major market segments and behavioral responses is an increasingly important consideration for state and federal DOTs. Most of these statewide models are built upon practices originally developed for urbanized area forecasting. In the context of statewide forecasting, rural trip making and long-distance intercity travel constitute important market segments; much more so than in urban models. Information describing these markets, and how they vary from state to state, are sparse, and many states do not have the resources to initiate original data collection to develop a set of model parameters. Yet these same states have a pressing need to have confidence in reasonable data for rural and long-distance travel. Furthermore, for the states where local data collection has occurred, they have little basis to assess how reasonable their findings are compared with findings from other states. A research project is necessary to develop and document transferable parameters for long-distance and rural trip making for statewide models. It is envisioned that this document would act as a supplement to the NCHRP "quick response" guidance on model parameters and highlight reasonable sets of parameter ranges for rural and long-distance trip making. It will be widely used by state departments of transportation and consultants developing statewide travel forecasting models. This research project shall complete the following tasks. (1) Identify several roadside origin-destination surveys conducted by state DOTs, obtain survey data and/or study reports, and analyze long-distance trip patterns. (2) Explore 2008 NHTS data once available to see how differences in rural and long-distance trip making occur in various states and identify any explanatory variables that could be used to adjust average values and reflect conditions in a particular state. (3) Obtain access to all ATS data sets and identify trip purposes, average trip lengths, vehicle occupancies, and other statistics typified by long-distance travelers. (4) Explore existing statewide model data sources and likely ranges of rural/intercity travel market parameter values. (5) Identify and summarize non-traditional data sources for rural/intercity travel markets. (6) Document findings.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 8-84

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC    20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  USA  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Srinivasan, Nanda

  • Start Date: 20100613
  • Source Data: RiP Project 26467

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463921
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 8-84
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:32PM