The National Academies

TCRP B-15 [Completed]

Characteristics of Urban Travel Demand

  Project Data
Funds: $249,998
Research Agency: Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Arlee Reno
Effective Date: 8/18/1997
Completion Date: 6/30/2001

Transportation planning, irrespective of mode, requires an understanding of travel demand and the factors that affect it. Because current data on the characteristics of demand and the factors that affect it were not available in one convenient source, if at all, the first edition of The Characteristics of Urban Transportation Demand (CUTD) was prepared by the former Urban Mass Transportation Administration in 1978 and was updated in 1988. This information has proven invaluable for sketch planning, policy analysis, establishing default parameters for travel models, and checking the reasonableness and validity of detailed forecasts.

Since 1988, there have been further changes in demographics, transportation system technology, travel behavior, and land use. Changes in federal, state, and local legislation also have affected transportation. These factors have resulted in new travel characteristics and travel analysis methods. Therefore, a third, up-to-date edition of CUTD is needed with enhanced capabilities to address current issues and to be compatible with contemporary analysis tools.

The CUTD provides a quick reference for planners interested in knowing about travel-demand characteristics. In the years since the first CUTD report was published, it has become one of the most requested reports from the Department of Transportation Technology Sharing Office. It contains a wealth of information, such as socioeconomic characteristics, trip rates and lengths, mode shares, temporal distribution of travel, central business district characteristics, and modal facility usage. These data need to be updated, but new topics also need to be covered, such as intelligent transportation systems (ITS), nonmotorized transportation, goods and freight movement, toll roads, telecommuting, demand management strategies, other activity centers and special generators (e.g., airports and universities), new site planning concepts (e.g., transit-oriented developments), demographic changes, and weekend travel.

The objective of this project is to develop an up-to-date and expanded CUTD and related products on the characteristics of urban transportation demand. The primary audience includes transportation planners and policy analysts.

Status: The final report has been published as TCRP Report 73, Characteristics of Urban Travel Demand. Supporting Excel Spreadsheet Files: Chap. 2, Chap. 3, Chap. 4, Chap. 5, Chap. 6, Chap. 7, Chap. 8, Chap. 9, Chap. 10

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