An innovative survey design to understand sustainable travel behaviors: potential of a rolling sample survey to replace traditional household travel surveys

The authors propose an innovative survey with rolling samples to address a major fiscal challenge faced by many Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). Faced with a small, but continuous budget, MPOs are increasingly unable to continue the current survey practice: conducting a large survey every 10 years. A rolling sample design also has other benefits over the current practice. Yet, for its implementation in household travel surveys, many questions exist. Some are technical issues while others are cost and procedural-related. The primary purpose of this project is to understand these issues and provide recommendations for a future household travel survey with rolling samples. It is also expected that a rolling sample design can help the authors understand travel behavior better for the purpose of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduction. By sampling participants living in very different neighborhoods, it can help the authors devise better VMT reduction strategies. The second purpose of this project is to assess the potential of a rolling sample design in addressing the potential of land use and infrastructure related strategies for VMT reduction. The research will help transportation planners and analysts to proactively reposition their service in light of the changing budgetary environment by developing a new approach to travel surveys based on small samples but continuous enrollment. This new approach is also more consistent with the recent changes in data collection methods used by the US Census Bureau. The empirical results demonstrate the reliability of a rolling sample and points to the potential of using it to replacing the traditional household travel surveys. The authors also demonstrate an innovative parcel-based sampling procedure to allow an empirical examination of the effects of built environments on transportation outcomes based on data collected from continuous enrollment.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Washington


    University of Idaho


    Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium

    University of Washington
    More Hall Room 112
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195-2700

    Washington State Department of Transportation


    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Chen, Cynthia
    • Kang, Hejun
    • Hong, Jin-hyun
    • Moudon, Anne
    • Shen, Qing
  • Publication Date: 2014-10-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 87p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01630123
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 2012-M-0003, 3-624881
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-UTC10
  • Created Date: Mar 27 2017 9:30AM