This report finds that the share of household expenditures for transportation has dropped by 5 percent for homeowners, and 4 percent for renters, and the share of expenditures for housing has increased by 3 percent for homeowners, and 5 percent for renters. Despite the drop in the share for transportation overall, the share spent on GASOLINE has increased. People keep vehicles for many more years (as reflected in the National Household Transportation Survey results http://nhts.ornl.gov/2001/pub/STT.pdf
, so the costs of ownership are amortized over a longer period of time.
Hi Everyone - I posted this link to the CTPP Facebook page, but since there are MORE of you on the CTPP listserv, I decided I should share it here. Also, please note that previously you had to PAY for CES microdata, but it is NOW FREE. http://www.bls.gov/cex/pumdhome.htm
FHWA Office of Planning
206-220-4460 (in Seattle)
Mike Greenwald / Liang Long / everyone else:
I have no experience with ACS Alchemist, but will certainly take a close look at it. Much of my research involves analyzing demographic/population at small geographies over large areas (county, state, national). I have used the ACS Summary File Retrieval tool for several years and really find it useful--probably have downloaded 40+ 2006-10 block grp level statewide datasets this year alone.
Yes, there is definitely some cleanup and organization to get the data into GIS. But I really appreciate that the tool is reliable and creates easy-to-interpret tables with MOE. On the one hand the data cleanup prior to GIS takes time, but on the other hand the clear descriptions/headings reduces mistakes and ambiguity. Also, I can tell you from experience that the excellent column and row descriptions make tracing previous work much easier.
I use Excel primarily, but Access occasionally (Census summary files etc). If my opinion or experience is of any help to you Mike don't hesitate to try me. I cannot promise much as far as time, but I may be of some assistance in some way.
Jonathan P. Brooks.
Assistant Transportation Researcher
Transit Mobility Program
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
701 N Post Oak Rd, Suite 430
Houston, TX 77063
Tel 713.686.2971 | Cell 806.440.2462
From: ctpp-news-bounces(a)chrispy.net [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of ctpp-news-request(a)chrispy.net
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 12:00 PM
Subject: ctpp-news Digest, Vol 104, Issue 10
Send ctpp-news mailing list submissions to
To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
You can reach the person managing the list at
When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific than "Re: Contents of ctpp-news digest..."
If you are frustrated by getting the ACS 5-year block group level data via
Census Bureau ftpsite or DataFerrett, ACS Alchemist may be a good
I just tested ACS Achemist that was developed by Azavea & Temple
University and I think it's easy to use. But keep in mind that only ACS
2005-2009 and ACS 2006-2010 data are available in the ACS Alchemist. If
you are looking for 1-year or 3-year data, you still need Census Bureau
data access tools including American Fact finder and DataFerrett.
ACS Achemist is an open source tool that enables the extraction of ACS
2005-2009 and ACS 2006-2010 data on different level of geographic
aggregation, i.e., counties, county sub-division, tracts, blockgroups,
etc. . The user interface is very straightforward and is a simple
step-by-step process. The thing I like most is that output is saved as
the shapefile and you can process your data in the GIS. The think I like
least is that uses will have to create a variable file to define which
data they want to get. The sample of a variable file can be find in the
readme document which is included in the software installation package,
but I attached one here for your convenience.
Here is the link to the ACS Alchemist home page:
Here is the link to download the software package:
Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
4800 Hampden Lane
Bethesda, MD 20814
tel 301 347 9141
fax 301 347 0101
I recently finished a summer internship at the City of Cambridge MA
Community Development Department doing web development and demographic data
gathering. Much of of my job during July and August consisted of mining
data from the Census Summary File 1 and American Community Survey 5-year
estimates for use in a public profile of the city's neighborhood
To make this process easier, I wrote a simple utility to gather data using
the census API. While much of its functionality overlaps with American
FactFinder, it is also able to retrieve data from the block and block group
level, making it useful for areas like Cambridge where neighborhood
boundaries do not exactly align with census tracts. I'd like to release it
open source to anyone who'll find it useful.
- .EXE file that runs out of the Windows or Linux
terminal. Unfortunately won't run on Macintosh (but will work in parallels
or boot camp)
- Simple text-based interface
- Search any available geography anywhere in the United States, down to the
block/block group level (where available)
- Retrieve up to 5 variables at a time for unlimited geographies at a time.
The 5 variable limit is on the end of the census API, not this utility.
- Automatically saves retrieved variables into a .csv file that can be
opened by excel.
- Can only search ACS 5-year for the time being. Adding SF1 functionality
is fairly straightforward.
The national use section of the utility is fairly narrow, but has potential
for expansion. The most robust functionality is specific to the City of
Cambridge, and I added national searches as an afterthought.
The interface is divided into two modes, National and Cambridge specific
search, and both work similarly. When you choose to conduct a national
search of the ACS 5-year, you will be prompted with the following menu:
[image: Inline image 1]
Typing 10 will prompt you to enter the variable IDs (up to 5) and the
geographies. Note that you can search as many geographies as you like, but
they must be of the same type (the lowest in the hierarchy, so for *10:
state-county-tract-block group *you can search up to 5 variables for any
number of block groups in the chosen census tract.
The format for entering a search for query type 10 would be:
*tableID1,tableID2,tableID3 stateFIPScode countyFIPScode tractFIPScode
For example to search ACS estimates B02001_002E and B02001_003E, (off the
top of my head I think _002E is race: white and _003E is race: black /
african american) in the state of Massachusetts (code 017) in Middlesex
county (code 025) census tract 353500 block groups 1 and 2, you would enter:
*B02001_002E,B002001_003E 025 017 353500 1,2*
This isn't the most friendly format but it's nice for grabbing large
amounts of information on several geographies at a time. For general ease
of use I'd suggest using an external notepad program to assemble your
queries and then paste them in so you don't have to retype it all in case
of a typo. All queries follow this format of the table/variable IDs
separated by commas followed by the geographies in the order they appear
separated by spaces.
The main functionality that I'd like to add in the future is the ability to
create custom geographies. Since Cambridge has 13 neighborhoods that do not
exactly line up with census tracts, I hard coded in each neighborhood's
component tracts and/or block groups so the neighborhoods could be searched
as a whole. This can be easily written to work dynamically for the entire
country, allowing you to save custom geographies of multiple census tracts,
counties, or any combination of counties, subcounties, block groups, etc.
There is a half-written geoGroup class that is intended to do this.
The program is written in C++ which is not the most user-friendly language,
but the code is commented and fairly repetitive, so shouldn't be too
arcane. I'll continually make changes and I'd invite anyone who's
interested in this utility's use / potential uses to give me feedback or
suggestions or make changes of your own. If there is interest in improving
it, I would also like to, at some point, rewrite the utility in Java with a
graphical interface and the ability to use custom geographies. I am in no
way a professional programmer (I'm a 4th year sociology undergrad with a
computer science minor) so I'm sure there are plenty of things in the code
that could be cleaned up or improved.
It was written in a Cygwin environment using a Cygwin version of LibCurl so
C could read data from http, and is released this under the general public
license (which is compatible with Cygwin's GPL and Curl's openBSD).
The current source code can be found in a GitHub repository
The compiled executable of the current version and its dependent libraries
can be downloaded here <http://www.fileswap.com/dl/01ZiyjiDlY/>.
Apparently, the ACS staff heard our concerns about the need for employment status by block group but forgot to tell us they did something about it..
In the 2011 ACS, there is a new Table B23025, which has simplified labor for data without the age/gender breakouts. This table will be available in the 2007-2011 ACS (5-year) file and will be available for block groups.
But, I just stumbled across this table for block groups from the 2006-2010 ACS (5-year) file!!!!! Since I don't know if anyone else knows about this special file, I'm sharing. It is at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/laborfor/acs_employ.html.
California State Census Data Center
Demographic Research Unit
Department of Finance
915 L Street, 8th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 327-0103 ext 2550
We are looking for a pre-configured 2010 Census Geodatabase with both linework and data attached for at least the state of Indiana, if not also including the surrounding states. Although all of the data can be downloaded from the Census Bureau on an as needed basis, we would like a more permanent copy in-house for our GIS needs and publication to our regional GIS website.
We are hoping to find something pre-built, rather then downloading and compiling everything ourselves. Any assistance in the endeavor is appreciated.
Michiana Area Council of Gov'ts
Forwarded on behalf of Stephen Miller. Contact info below.
From: 'Stephen Miller' <mill3315(a)umn.edu<mailto:email@example.com>>
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2012 8:49 AM
Subject: Metropolitan Travel Survey Archive: Request for Surveys
To Whom It May Concern,
Since 2003, the Metropolitan Travel Survey Archive (MTSA) has been cataloging and preserving travel surveys conducted by metropolitan areas across the United States. To date, the MTSA has collected and processed 80 travel surveys, provided a space for users to download the raw data and to utilize tools that can analyze the data through our website < http://www.surveyarchive.org/ >. We continue to seek any travel surveys that we don't currently have.
Since the advent of the MTSA's website, over 8,500 users from around the world have utilized the webpage. For students at the University of Minnesota, the MTSA has been used as a tool to teach them how to understand and read surveys, analyze a wide range of U.S. cities, and learn key concepts in transportation studies. Yet the greatest value derived from the MTSA is its ability to allow users, whether they are academics or transportation study professionals, to conduct online analyses or to save time in accessing data: users can instantly download each survey, in either a raw or processed format, without having to ask each transportation agency for their data sets. As a corollary, this saves transportation agencies from having to provide their data to every individual asking for one.
If you are willing to provide any travel surveys we don't currently have, we would greatly appreciate it. Please contact the Primary Project Contact at mill3315(a)umn.edu<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> or the Principal Investigator at dlevinson(a)umn.edu<mailto:email@example.com> .
Stephen Miller, David Levinson, and Elaine Murakami
This email is intended to be read only by the intended recipient. This email may be legally privileged or protected from disclosure by law. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination of this email or any attachments is strictly prohibited, and you should refrain from reading this email or examining any attachments. If you received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete this email and any attachments.
Now Available at: http://download.ctpp.transportation.org/profiles_2012/transport_profiles.ht…
using ACS 2006-2010 and Census 2010
These profiles include data from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS), the 2000 and 2010 Censuses, and the Census Transportation Planning Package (CTPP) 2000. The profiles are designed to give transportation planners a handy way to examine trends by including two time points. The profiles are available for the U.S. total; all states; all counties; and places with population 5,000 or more, based on 2010 Census counts.
Each transportation profile has the following tables: Table 1 Selected Characteristics; Total Persons, Persons in Households, Total Households, Average Household Size, Average Household Income, Average Number of Vehicles per Households, Percent of Persons in Poverty, Percent Minority, Percent of Persons 65 and Over, Percent of Persons Foreign Born. Table 2 Mode to Work; Total Workers at Place of Residence, Mode to Work at Place of Residence and at Place of Work and Table 3 Mean Travel Time by Mode to Work.
ATTENTION CHROME USERS: This application does not currently work well with Chrome. Please use another browser.
The September issue of the CTPP Newsletter is now availble. The direct
link to it is http://www.trbcensus.com/newsltr/sr0912.pdf. The HTML
version of it will be posted on the FHWA website shortly.
This issue will be of particular interest to those who will be working
with the 5-year CTPP data since it describes the new "Extended
Allocation" used to allow for the data to be geocoded to small areas
(TAZs). When will the 5-year CTPP be available? See the newsletter.
There are also articles the status of the NEW Commuting in America
report and using journey to work data for Medicare.
4749 Lincoln Mall Drive, Suite 600
Matteson, IL 60443