Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning. Task 111. U.S. Commuting and Travel Patterns: Data Development and Analysis

In the U.S., over 65 percent of people over the age of 16 are in the labor force, with most of them commuting to work on a regular basis. Commuting is an activity that represents a major component of personal travel by most people and therefore is of great interest to a wide audience. Gaining a sound perspective on commuting and commuters provides valuable insights on local, state, and national economy; traffic congestion; and people's travel behavior. The first Commuting in America, published in 1987, examined changes in commuting dating back to 1960. The document proved to be valuable for those interested in public policy, planning, research, and education. The most recent Commuting in America III (published as NCHRP Report 550/TCRP Report 110) in 2006, included commuting data up to 2000. Currently,the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official's  AASHTO's) Census Transportation Planning Products Oversight Board (CTPP) is planning to develop Commuting in America IV (CIA IV). CIA IV is planned to be a series of reports published on a regular basis via the web rather than a singular report. The aim of this NCHRP 08-36 project is to develop the data/tabulations to be used in preparing CIA IV. The writing of  CIA IV will be a separate project that will use these tabulations as a foundation to support the research and analysis needed to produce and publish CIA IV products. The CIA series focused on understanding commuting patterns and trends. Since the Commuting in America in 1987, the proportion of total travel represented by commuting has been declining, although it is still the largest reason that people travel. Accordingly, CIA IV is expected to continue the previous CIA series, but also add more current data on travel behavior, including but not limited to data from the 2009 American Community Survey , the 2006-2008 CTPP, and the 2009 National Household Travel Survey.While the previous CIAs were national in nature, CIA IV is expected to be broader and include State-level and MSA level analyses. Thus, the tabulations developed to support CIA IV analyses should consider emerging trends in travel and topics such as growth of non-work travel, travel during weekends, the effects of the economy, fuel prices, and other factors on decisions made for personal travel, etc. The objective of this research is to develop data tabulations using secondary and publicly available sources to support the development of CIA IV and other national, state, and metropolitan uses. This research will explore the use of new and historical data sets to describe commuting and other travel patterns in the U.S. The products of the research will include (a) data tabulations along with documentation and source code; and (b) display mechanism(s) to allow the visualization of tabulations.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $125000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-36, Task

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

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

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

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

    Srinivasan, Nanda

    Sundstrom, Lori

  • Start Date: 20111129
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 28979

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01557203
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-36, Task
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 19 2015 1:00AM