Census Transportation Data Use and Application Field Guide

The Census Transportation Planning Products (CTPP) data sets and the American Community Survey (ACS) are critical data elements that support the planning and analysis of transportation plans, policies, programs, and project selection. Changes in the data products over the last 10 years and ongoing staff turnover have left a void of expertise in effectively using this data to support transportation planning. Additionally, there is no centralized resource location where one can go to learn how to use the data for real-world applications. This results in wasted time, squandered resources, and at times questionable analysis. The objective of this project is to develop a field guide for the transportation community on how to effectively use Census data including the ACS, CTPP, and Public Use Micro Sample (PUMS) to address transportation issues: (1) Depict applications that cross sectors (public and private), are statewide and regional, depict small and large studies, and are multimodal where possible. (2) Delve into the perennial issues facing the transportation community as well as those that are emerging like Environmental Justice and Title VI, providing context for resiliency planning, millennial travel patterns, and alternative commute opportunities, etc. (3) Assure there are sufficient applications depicting various levels of analytical complexity that are covered and reported. The field guide will : (1) Serve as the training manual on the uses and application of the ACS, CTPP and PUMS data sets. (2) Provide practitioners with a thorough understanding of the data, including its strengths and weaknesses. (3) Describe the data elements, table structures, and variable definitions. (4) Instruct users on when and how to use the data. (5) Use real-world and visual examples on how to apply the data. (6) Draw in examples from different types of transportation agencies including states, MPOs, and transit.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $375000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-123

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

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

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Goldstein, Lawrence

  • Start Date: 20180618
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01672247
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-123
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 18 2018 3:03PM