October 21, 2016


Understanding Long-Distance Travel Behavior: Findings from the Longitudinal Survey on Overnight Travel and National Household Travel Surveys


1:40 pm - 3:00 pm


1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village


Long-distance travel is critical to the economic growth, environmental sustainability, and efficient vehicle movement in all regions, with an estimated 1.3 billion long-distance trips in the United States in 2001, a 155% increase from 1977. Without data and models for long distance trips it becomes difficult to make reliable decisions associated with economic development and regional infrastructure improvements. Recent increased interest in interregional rail, megaregion air quality, carbon emissions in the transportation sector and interstate highway maintenance has renewed focus on long-distance trips, many of which are also overnight trips.

This seminar presents our recent effort to current long-distance and overnight travel data for an entire year through the Longitudinal Study of Overnight Travel (LSOT) survey as well important trends in long-distance travel behavior using a variety of annual national travel surveys. This seminar summarizes the who, what, where, and when of long distance travel observed in the unique LSOT sample in order to move towards a long distance tour-based approach to data collection and modeling that more fully incorporates the complexity of spatial patterns and purpose, including mixed purposes. The seminar will also critically assesses what it will take to collect long distance travel data needed for the policy questions facing the national and global transportation sector. The LSOT provides many insights related to survey design that stimulate a wider discussion about how to collect overnight travel data in a way that is understandable by respondents and useful for planning. The complexity of factors influencing overnight travel behavior and the one-year plus study time frame suggest that, while passive data collection from cell phones and other devices may be used to observe spatial patterns of travel, surveys will still be needed to capture complementary details about the planning processes, motivations, trip details, and demographics.

The Longitudinal Study of Overnight Travel (LSOT) was conducted monthly between February 2013 and February 2014 by Resource Systems Group, Inc. (RSG) using an online survey instrument developed by Aultman-Hall and LaMondia at the University of Vermont and Auburn University. A total of 628 of the initial 1,220 participants, including many from California, completed the panel that collected data on overnight trip planning, trip tour attributes and geocoded overnight stops.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Jeff LaMondia is an Associate Professor in Civil Engineering at Auburn University. He received his PhD in transportation engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and his research interests is in multimodal transportation planning / safety, travel demand modeling, and travel behavior analysis. Dr. LaMondia’s expertise is in the development and application of discrete choice models, which he has applied in a variety of applications. Currently, he is focused on studying the activity participation, time use, and scheduling of long distance travel. As part of this work, he conducted the year-long longitudinal overnight travel survey (LSOT) and participated in the development of FHWA’s national framework for modeling long distance travel. Dr. LaMondia’s research work received the Transportation Research Board’s outstanding paper Fred Burggraf Award and the Auburn University College of Engineering Faculty Research Award. Dr. LaMondia is also passionate about engineering education, and he was awarded the National Academies of Engineering FOEE Fellowship, the Auburn College of Engineering Walker Teaching Award and the Auburn Breeden Fellowship for his work.

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