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Appendix A Study on Strategies for Improved Passenger and Freight Travel Data Statement of Task T his study will assess the state of passenger and freight travel data at the federal, state, and local levels and make recommendations for an affordable and sustainable system for estimating personal and freight travel to support public and private transportation planning and decision making. Most travel data at the federal, state, or local levels are collected in one-off surveys or programs that are highly contingent upon shifting political and funding priorities and not infrequently in danger of cancellation. The primary emphasis of this project will be on understanding user needs for travel data and developing a practical, achievable, and affordable strategy for collection of, and funding for, essential travel data programs. To create responsive, cost-effective, and sustainable data programs for personal and freight travel data, user needs should be understood, current and emerging barriers to such data programs identified, new approaches for collecting data assessed, costs evaluated, and benefits documented. With these goals in mind, the committee will qualitatively examine the effectiveness and feasibility of promising innovations in data collection, such as continuous longitudinal surveys, web surveys, and methods to capture data from automated sources (e.g., probe vehicles, cell phone probes, radio frequency identification tags), and recommend strategies for ensuring the timely availability and quality of essential travel data at acceptable costs. 119
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