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National Household Travel Survey (NHTS)

The National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) is a periodic national survey used to assist transportation planners and policy makers who need comprehensive data on travel and transportation patterns in the United States. The 2016 survey is currently in the field and will be completed by April of 2017. It is being collected by FHWA in coordination with a private firm who conducts travel surveys across the country. The latest downloadable NHTS data set is from 2009.

Previous surveys include the 2009 and 2001 NHTS, and the former Nationwide Personal Transportation Surveys (NPTS) of 1969, 1977, 1983, 1990, and 1995.

The NHTS/NPTS serves as the nation's inventory of daily travel. Data is collected on daily trips taken by households and individuals in those households, over a 24-hour period, and includes:

  • purpose of the trip (work, shopping, social, etc.)
  • means of transportation (car, walk, bus, subway, etc.)
  • travel time of trip
  • time of day/day of week

These data are collected for all trips, modes, purposes, trip lengths, and all areas of the country, urban and rural.

Uses of Surveys:

  • quantify travel behavior
  • analyze changes in travel characteristics over time
  • related travel behavior to the demographics of the travel, and
  • study the relationship of demographic and travel over time.

For more information, go to the NHTS website at: http://nhts.ornl.gov/introduction.shtml

Page last modified on November 7, 2014.
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