Expertise in the Interpretation and Forecasting of Travel

     Nancy McGuckin     
Travel Behavior Analyst


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Federal Projects and Research 

NCHRP 8-84 Long Distance and Rural Travel Transferable Parameters for Statewide Travel Forecasting Models ( ) Developing data for travel demand forecasting model inputs for long-distance (both 50 – 100 miles and 100 miles and more in distance) travel and rural trip generation estimates. The long-distance component uses 1995 American Travel Survey and 2001 National Household Travel Survey data—the most recent national sources of long-distance data. Rural estimates come from the extensive rural coverage of the 2009 NHTS (with Cambridge Sytematics).

Travel Trends of the Baby Boom Generation – Currently researching and writing a series of reports for AARP Public Policy Institute focused on the baby boomers transportation choices, recent trends, and the policy implications. TRB NHTS StatisticsTopics include: Working Retirement, The Sandwich Generation, The Freedom of the Empty Nest, and a larger study detailing the rise and fall of travel related to the baby boomers. See:

Summary of Travel Trends: 2009 National Household Travel Survey (Publication no. FHWA-PL-11-02 ). Primary author for this report that analyzes important travel indicators over a period of 40 years—1969 to 2009--obtained in the national travel survey series. Topics cover household, person, and private vehicle travel trends, commuting, and travel behavior of special populations. Margins of error were developed for all travel statistics to separate data ‘noise’ from true trends.  

Sustainable Community Performance Measures, Pasadena, CA—As part of the mobility segment of the update to the General Plan, used the California add-on to the National Household Travel Survey (CA-NHTS), the American Community Survey (ACS), and the Longitudinal Employment Housing Dynamics (LEHD) to provide the City with a data package of recent local travel behavior. Transferable parameters from NHTS were used to estimate census tract-level and neighborhood CO2 or green house gas emissions. These estimates are being used in two ways: as benchmark performance measures for the goal of being a sustainable community, and to develop community outreach materials to encourage behavior shifts to sustainable travel.

Non-Motorized Travel: Analysis of California Add-on to the 2009 NHTS – This research is focused on understanding patterns of non-motorized travel and the factors that influence them, both the quality of the environment and the characteristics of the individual. The California add-on to the NHTS collected data on travel from more than 18,000Bicycle travel households in all 58 counties, and fills a critical data gap on state-wide non-motorized travel. This project is helping to advance the goals of the California Blueprint for Bicycling and Walking and the implementation of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (with Susan Handy, UC-Davis).

National Household Travel Survey 1990-2009 (Federal Highway Administration) –Technical consultant for the NHTS team for four iterations of data collection and analysis. Analyzed methodological issues, including: impact of trip rostering (adjustment to 1990), effect of diary and incentives (1995), comparison of address-based and RDD, prospective long-distance trip reporting vs. retrospective reporting (2001) and cell-phone only sample and detailed demographic weighting (2009). Instrumental in the Energy Information Administration (EIA-DOE) gas cost and fuel efficiency additions to the 2001 and 2009 vehicle file. Conducted user outreach to stakeholders and topic experts for questionnaire development (2001 and 2009). Coordinated the add-on program with States and MPOs (2001 and 2009). Provided analysis of survey results through policy briefs, reports, presentations, and satisfied a broad range of data user requests. Briefs and publications available at:  

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National Institute of Standards and Technology World Trade Center Investigation - Helped develop a model of occupant behavior and egress during the evacuation of the World Trade Centers on 9/11 , Project 7, with NuStats). Used sociological behavioral modeling to determine the factors and social processes (the major paths of casual links between variables) that influenced people to delay their evacuation out of World Trade Center Towers 1 and 2 on September 11, 2001. Evacuation delay was found to be positively correlated with ‘helping behaviors’, and a five minute or more delay was found to be significant in increased mortality. Top

"Journey-to-Work Trends in the United States and Its Major Metropolitan Areas, 1960 – 2000" (Publication no. FHWA-EP-03-058) Primary author for this report which tracks trends in demographics, worker characteristics, and commuting in the U.S. and the 49 MSAs of one-million residents or more (not including San Juan, Puerto Rico). TopicsJourney to Work covered include: changes in household structure, trends in commute mode of travel, travel time, departure time, vehicle availability and immigration. Looked in detail at changes in place of work and place of residence, examining the implications of suburban-to-suburban growth in commutes and the effect on change in mode and travel time. Published in 2003.

"Travel Estimation Techniques for Urban Planning"- “Travel Estimation Techniques for Urban Planning” - NCHRP Report 365 - One of the authors/primary investigators for this textbook on the application of travel data to the travel demand forecasting models. Researched the relationship between trip generation and urban form, trip chaining, and the changes in travel patterns observed since the publication of NCHRP 187 “Quick-Response Urban Travel Estimation Techniques and Transferable Parameters.” Conducted a survey of MPO model needs and analyzed the transferability over time and across geography of critical travel demand statistics. With Barton-Ashman Associates, published in 1998.  

"Travel Survey Manual" (U.S. DOT and U.S. EPA) - One of the chapter authors of this well-recognized state-of-the-practice manual of procedures for the conduct of travel behavior surveys of all types. Was individually responsible for detailed descriptions of travel survey design and conduct for on-board transit, workplace, visitor, and longitudinal survey chapters. Includes discussion of statistical design and analysis, with step-by-step instructions where appropriate, information on costs and benefits of various designs, and recommendations for survey procedures. Originally published 1996, currently being updated as a wiki document by TRB Travel Survey Methods Committee at:  

Regional Comprehensive Travel Behavior Inventories 

San Juan Metropolitan Region Planning Study to Develop Tren Urbano (Commonwealth of Puerto Rico)- Managed major data-collection (on-site) efforts to obtain data to estimate future ridership, including home-interview, establishment, and on-board bus and jitney surveys. Forecast future population and employment and allocated to small geography based on the present land use and constraints to future development and accessibility to allocate population and employment growth to small area (TAZ). With Barton-Ashman Associates/DeLeuw Cather.  

Cleveland Household, Establishment, and Transit Surveys (NOACA, RTA, and Cleveland Growth Association) - Designed and analyzed major data-collection efforts encompassing home-interview, establishment, and on-board bus surveys. Workplace survey completed 150 sites in the greater Cleveland area. Transit survey collected statistically robust data for each route and time period. Model results used to forecast needed infrastructure improvements, including patronage on future light rail. With Barton-Ashman Associates/DeLeuw Cather. 

Bangkok ThailandComprehensive Surveys (DeLeuw-Cather, International)- In-country (Thailand) task manager for a suite of surveys conducted to estimate ridership for new high-speed transit (MRTA). Designed an in-home personal interview household travel survey for the greater Bangkok region (few households have telephones), including developing travel diaries and forms for translation, and training field supervisors. Estimated samples and designed approach for Census non-coverage areas (squatters). Designed employee surveys for sites near potential future stations, intercept surveys of visitors, and an on-board survey for three transit vehicle types. All surveys included stated preference components to help estimate future fare strategies. With Barton-Ashman Associates/DeLeuw Cather. Shanghai


Shanghai Comprehensive Transportation Planning (City of Shanghai, PRC)- Managed the U.S.-based data team to develop a city-wide plan and ridership forecasts for the high speed rail to the airport. Developed methods to summarize and visualize demographic characteristics in small geographic clusters to help analyze land-use and socioeconomic patterns. Developed a delay factor for EMME/2 that simulated the bus-bicycle conflict at bus stops and assisted in the design solutions for intersection treatments for bicycle traffic. With Barton-Ashman Associates/DeLeuw Cather.

Edmonton Travel Survey(Alberta, Canada) - Edmonton Travel Survey (Alberta, Canada) - Acted as on-site technical advisor for this travel survey to develop inputs for the creation of a utility-based household trip model. Designed a focused sample of 5,000 households in three geographic divisions and developed a questionnaire including detail on transit usage, mobility impairments, parking availability and cost, and stated-preference questions for each trip to determine elasticity of demand. Trained a staff of 50 interviewers for recruiting and data collection, and provided a management information system for sample tracking and quality control. With Barton-Ashman Associates.  

Establishment and Truck Projects 

Greater Charlotte Region Establishment Survey (Charlotte, NC) - Developed survey techniques to collect and geocode employee addresses for a sample of basic industry, and to "borrow" trip rates for non-employee trips to Basic sites. Remainder of sample divided into "Highway Retail", "Retail", "High-Visitor Service", and "Low-Visitor Service". Responsible for sample design, quality control, weighting and analysis of the survey. Special research into the travel characteristics to mixed-use (Smart Growth or Traditional Design) developments versus strip malls. With Barton-Ashman Associates. 

Southeastern Pennsylvania Establishment Survey (Pittsburgh) - Responsible for design, quality Truck surveycontrol, weighting and analysis of the survey of 166 sites in the greater Pittsburgh region. Divided service industry into "High-Visitor" and "Low-Visitor" by SIC code. Developed survey forms with detailed demographic data on employees and visitors, such as number of children, workers, etc. in household. Used personal interview techniques for employees in hard-to-survey occupations (retail, janitorial, etc.) With Barton-Ashman Associates. 

Dallas-Ft. Worth Workplace Survey (NCTCOG)- Dallas-Ft. Worth Workplace Survey (NCTCOG)- Responsible for design, quality control, weighting and analysis of the survey of 270 sites in the Metroplex. Developed a sample methodology that is not skewed towards larger-sized workplaces. Designed and conducted a test of reported auto-occupancy of walk-ins vs. observed auto-occupancy of drive-throughs for restaurants and banks offering drive-through facilities. With Barton-Ashman Associates.  

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Atlanta Regional Commission Establishment Survey (ARC)- Atlanta Regional Commission Establishment Survey (ARC) - Project manager for this large-scale survey of 270 establishments sampled across area-type in the Atlanta region. Developed the sample design, coordinated with the regional travel model for air-quality analysis, analyzed, weighted and presented the results. With Barton-Ashman Associates.

El Paso, Texas-Establishment, Special Generator, and Truck Surveys Managed and conducted all phases of this major data collection using TTIs sample design and procedures, including the analysis of "activity centers" as grouped destinations for visitors. With Barton-Ashman Associates.

Chicago Master PlanUpdate Study on Intermodal Truck Travel (CDOT) - Chicago Master Plan Update Study on Intermodal Truck Travel (CDOT) - Designed and managed this surveyfeeding into an economic analysis of the impact and the benefit of the growing intermodal industry in the greater Chicago region. Sites included O’Hare International trafficAirport cargo area. The survey results were submitted to ITE for development of intermodal yard trip rates as a new category. With Barton-Ashman Associates.  

Baltimore-Washington International AirportTransportation Planning Study (Maryland Mass Transit Administration, MTA)-Developed a land-use inventory for the BWI area. Designed and conducted an employer/employee survey to understand work-based travel and possible transit shifts. Forecast future population, land-use, and employment by zone in five-year increments based on committed and proposed development and the analysis of present and projected zoning. With Barton-Ashman Associates.. 

Silver Spring Survey of Commuters on Choice of Mode─ Implemented a stratified sample approach for workplace survey that decreased field costs and resulted in +/- 2 percent error at the 95% confidence level for trip attraction estimations. With Barton-Ashman Associates.

Transit Projects

New Orleans Mode Choice Model Update─ Designed and conducted successful data collection for a tourist travel demand sub-model, including visitor survey and transit on-board survey. With Barton-Ashman Associates.

WMATA Metrobus Passenger Survey for Fare Allocation─ Designed procedures for sample selection, training, and geographical analysis of trip segments by jurisdiction.Bus transportation

Charlotte On-Board Bus Survey ─Managed the full system on-board bus survey including a smaller sample on-board with the Special Transportation Service (para-transit service) including a verbal interview component. With Barton-Ashman Associates.

Chicago CTADowntown Circulator Project Designed and managed this high-profile on-board bus survey using verbal interviews for unique O-D analysis and patronage forecast. With Barton-Ashman Associates.

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