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Study Background & Objectives

In 1992, federal and state government and highway industry representatives collaborated to create a national policy on highway quality. This policy focuses on enabling the United States to maintain a leadership role in delivering high quality highway services. Customers provide an essential voice for any serious and concerted quality effort. Surveys of end users of the transportation system contribute important insights to build better understanding of performance from the users' perspectives.

Based on a random telephone sample of U.S. households, the 2005 Traveler Opinion and Perception (TOP) Survey provides reliable public opinion information about characteristics of the transportation system that affect users' ultimate satisfaction with the system. The FHWA conducted this study to:

The 2005 TOP Survey represents a collaboration led by the FHWA Office of Professional and Corporate Development between the five program offices - Safety, Infrastructure; Operations; Planning, Environment, and Realty; and Federal Lands. Using a large national probability sample of adults (n = 2,600), travelers were surveyed by telephone. The margin of error associated with surveys of this size is about plus or minus 2 percentage points.

This report begins with a discussion of the study's major findings, focusing on major highways, transportation systems, and options in communities, federal lands, and actions the public might find helpful. The report continues with a presentation of study conclusions. The report ends with a detailed description about the study methodology and an appendix with more detailed information, including comparisons of the results from this study with the 1995 and 2000 traveler surveys. A complete technical report, published under separate cover, provides detailed findings. This technical report is supported by an additional publication containing extensive analysis of the data.

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