Exploring New Directions for the National Household Travel Survey: Phase Two Report of Activities

The National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), provided data on personal travel in the United States in 2001 and 2009. The 2016 NHTS was launched in spring 2016 and the one-year data collection is ongoing. This publication summarizes the status, approach, and expected content of the new NHTS data for the user community. This introduction to the scale and type of changes is intended to allow agencies, programs, and research groups to prepare for use of the data that is expected to be released in late 2017. The objective of this e-circular is to start a broad conversation among data users about the updates to the NHTS and for the user community to start preparing for the changes in the data. While some changes were necessitated by the societal landscape within which survey research must operate, such as low response rates and decreasing numbers of landline telephones, other changes in design, approach, and content were made in response to the user community. From the data and methods requested in Circular E-C178, some were adopted, others were incorporated indirectly due to the changes in the way the data is being collected, and others were not possible as they were either beyond the scope of the NHTS or would require a follow-up survey which is not feasible for reasons of funding and respondent burden. There were some changes made to better serve the needs of the modeling community, but these were balanced with a need to maintain the survey series in the unique role it has played as a source of travel behavior data. The specific changes made in the 2016 NHTS include the following: use of emerging modes such as Uber and Lyft; a health-benefit perspective on walking and biking; change in the definition of a complete household to be one where 100% of all household members reported their travel; and change in sampling frequency to emphasize weekday versus weekend travel.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 40p
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01626402
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 23 2017 3:58PM