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Revamped Website Features Easier Access to Travel Survey Data, Offers New Datasets

February 16, 2018

Access to detailed transportation data from travel surveys and studies conducted across the nation just got easier. The revamped Transportation Secure Data Center (TSDC) features a variety of updates that enhance the user experience and increase the scope of data available.

Using archived travel data can reduce research costs and save public funds. These valuable transportation data can be used in a wide variety of applications, such as transit planning, travel demand modeling, congestion mitigation research, vehicle energy and power analysis, evacuation planning, alternative fuel station planning, and more.

Screenshot of webpage with U.S. map displaying states and regions for which cleansed travel data are available as well as a table for finding cleansed data by all criteria.


  • The new website offers two ways to find cleansed data: an interactive map and a searchable, sortable data table.
  • Each survey or study now has its own page, allowing users to bookmark it or provide a link to share.
  • New users only need to register once to download cleansed data at any time.
  • The website features a responsive template, which means you can view it on your desktop computer, mobile device, and everything in between.

New Datasets

The TSDC is constantly growing. The following datasets were added within the last year:

  • 2016 California Vehicle Survey: Designed to assess light-duty vehicle preferences in California, this survey collected data from 3,614 residential respondents and 1,712 commercial fleet owners, including a targeted sample of 599 plug-in electric vehicle owners.
  • 2013 California Vehicle Survey: Approximately 8,000 respondents completed the survey, which collected data on household and commercial vehicle usage, and on anticipated future vehicle purchases.
  • 2015 Madison County, Indiana, In the Moment Travel Study: This study used a "random moments" sampling approach via smartphone app to capture travel behavior from its 505 participants.
  • 2014 Madison County, Indiana, Heartland in Motion Transportation Study: This study collected household demographics and travel information from 4,349 participants in Madison County, Indiana, and evaluated preferred travel options between the county and Indianapolis.
  • 2002–2015 Texas Regional Travel Surveys: New data from regional surveys conducted in various areas across the state—Corpus Christi, Midland/Odessa, San Angelo, and Texarkana—boost the total number of data sets in the Texas collection to 14, with data from 4,383 vehicles.

About the TSDC

While preserving the privacy of individual participants, the TSDC provides free, web-based access to travel data from a wide variety of travel surveys and studies. NREL screens the initial data for quality control, translates each data set into a consistent format, and interprets the data for spatial analysis. NREL's processing routines add information on vehicle fuel economy and road grades and join data points to the road network.

The TSDC features millions of data points for all modes of travel, including second-by-second global position system readings, vehicle characteristics (if applicable), and demographics. While cleansed data, with sensitive information suppressed, are readily available for download from the website, detailed spatial data are accessible to approved users via a restricted and secure virtual desktop connection.

More than 125 publications to date provide examples of the analyses made possible by the TSDC's rich transportation data.

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