Under current pressures to improve file quality, increase multiple use, and reduce cost, a number of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) have resorted to the use of commercial data, particularly that from Dun and Bradstreet and R.L. Polk and Company. The purpose of this research, sponsored jointly by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA), is to assess this trend. MPOs, transit agencies, and other data users in 12 metropolitan areas were interviewed about their experience with the data. Users generally reported satisfaction with the commercial data but also noted some problems and limitations. Nevertheless, the research concluded that a commercial data source, on its merits, will be selected by an increasing number of MPOs. The choice must depend on local circumstances. Under some circumstances, commercial sources may be less expensive, more current, and more quickly available. Such sources provide comparisons with other time points, subareas, or urban areas; offer computer graphics; serve multiple functions; or have fewer confidentiality limitations. Commercial data sources are competitive with other sources such as primary surveys, the U.S. Census, or state employment security files. Recommendations are made for (a) more adequate FHWA and UMTA guidelines for household and employment files, (b) definitive tests of commercial sources with traditional sources, (c) staffing by FHWA and UMTA to implement the first two recommendations, (d) central purchase of Dun and Bradstreet establishment files for all metropolitan areas, and (e) additional commercial services from R.L. Polk and Company. (Author)

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 1-6
  • Monograph Title: Transportation Information Systems:Applications and Uses
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00334213
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309031249
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 16 1982 12:00AM