TRB 2016 Blue Ribbon Committee
16th National Transportation Planning Applications Conference

School travel patterns in Utah

Corresponding Author: Andy Li, Wasatch Front Regional Council

Presented By: Andy Li, Wasatch Front Regional Council


Currently, the WFRC/MAG (Wasatch Front Regional Council/Mountainland Association of Governments) travel model lacks robust data for home-based school trips. The previous version of the model simplified home-based school trips as home-based other (which was grouped in with other non-designated trips). This has since been updated to tie in the locations of K-12 schools (split K-6, 7-12) as well as enrollment numbers. While the model can currently estimate for trip rates, trip distribution, and mode choice, the corresponding coefficients are derived from a small subset data from the 2012 Utah Household Travel Survey, and therefore the assumptions are based primarily on professional judgment. The home based school trips parameters need to be refined in order to make better data-driven estimations; a more robust data set will assist in improving this current limitation.

For the first time in this region, WFRC surveyed schools within the Salt Lake City/Ogden-Layton/Provo-Orem Urbanized Area school districts. The survey asked questions regarding each household’s distance to school, travel mode (walk/bike/school bus/drive), and household information such as number of school-aged children, auto ownership, income, non-working adults etc.) This data set will be applied in conjunction with Safe Route to School data which will be collected from each school district or obtained via Google Earth. All data will be compiled for statistical analyses, such as cross-classification, linear regression, multinomial logit model, etc.

The statistical analysis that will be performed with this data set will improve the WFRC/MAG travel model by including local actual data for home based school travel behavior such as home based trip rates by household type and school, trip distance, and preferred travel mode. This will make the WFRC/MAG travel model more robust in estimating non-motorized school trips for this region.


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