by Mcguckin, Nancy <FHWA>
Congress deleted the line item for the Nationwide Personal Transportation
Survey (NPTS). FHWA is working on their response.
I think many of us do not realize how instrumental the NPTS is to a lot of
what we do. The NPTS is the only source of travel-characteristic data for the
nation, allowing us to track trends since 1969 when the first survey was done.
NPTS data was used to develop the household trip generation rates in the
update of the old NCHRP 187, published as the NCHRP 365, *Travel Estimation
Techniques for Urban Planning*. Many, many areas use it for bench-marking
their locally collected data. It offers comparative data for any area to see
the similarities and differences to regional and national trends.
A number of States and MPOs use the NPTS data as a source of default values
when no other data is available, especially for smaller population groups such
as elderly drivers. State-wide models are being developed using the NPTS data
to fill in rural areas or smaller towns and cities.
The web site (http://www-cta.ornl.gov/npts/) was a real step forward to make
accessing the data easy, and is a good resource for special studies and topic
papers, such as the one on trip chaining.
The 2000 survey would have been a valuable tool to address contemporary
transportation needs and topics because of the extension of the previous data
as well as the addition of new data items directed to emerging issues.