The National Academies

TCRP B-03 [Completed]

Demand Forecasting for Rural Passenger Transportation

  Project Data
Funds: $199,685
Research Agency: SG Associates, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Frank Spielberg
Effective Date: 6/1/1993
Completion Date: 2/28/1995

The product of this study is a simple, straight forward methodology for estimating ridership on rural public transit systems. Agencies engaged in planning, operating, or funding passenger transportation services in rural areas will find this methodology very useful and easy to use.

This project was initiated to provide transportation providers, public officials, and planners in rural service areas with accurate, credible, and easy-to-use methodologies for estimating ridership under a wide range of conditions. Although transportation-planning procedures for urban areas are well developed no commonly used methodologies existed for forecasting rural passenger-transportation ridership.

The research involved several methods for forecasting rural passenger demand; development of a framework for demand estimation methodologies; data collection, methodology development and testing; and preparation of the TCRP Report No. 3, "Workbook for Estimating Demand for Rural Passenger Transportation." This workbook provides a methodology for estimating demand for rural passenger transportation. It presents the methodology in simplified form by providing computation worksheets and step-by-step instructions. The findings of agency interviews and the review of previous rural transit demand forecasting methods are documented in TCRP Project B-3, Interim Report No. 1. A 39-county dataset and the analysis supporting the methods for estimating rural passenger transportation demand are documented in TCRP Project B-3, Interim Report No. 2. The
final report (12,409 kB PDF) has an overall description of the analysis, the procedures, and the recommended methodology. All of these documents are available from TCRP.

TCRP Report 3 is also available in portable document format (PDF). Double-click on the files below to access the report. (A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader is available at

Front Matter; Chapter 1: Introduction (3,309 Kb)

Chapter 2: Forecasting Demand (1,119 Kb)

Chapter 3: Sample Applications (1,026 Kb)

Appendixes A, B, C, D, and E

In addition, the full 39-county dataset, with documentation, has been provided to the Mack-Blackwell National Rural Transportation Study Center at the University of Arkansas for use by others engaged in research on rural transportation needs. Inquiries should be addressed to:

Mack-Blackwell National Rural
Transportation Study Center
4190 Bell Engineering Center
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701
(501) 575-7957

To assist users of the workbook in applying the methodologies, a spreadsheet template for use on personal computer systems has been prepared. This spreadsheet, in QuattroPro and LOTUS 1-2-3 formats, is available from TCRP and is available through the McTrans Center for Microcomputing in Transportation at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (1-800-226-1013); it is also available for downloading on the RTAP TAP-IN Bulletin Board maintained by the Community Transportation Association of America (202-628-2537).

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=1024