Data sources for use in conducting travel behavior research : a case study of reverse commuting among low-income residents of Minneapolis


Melissa Loughlin , Elvin Wyly , John Adams

August 1994

Report no. Mn/DOT 1994-26

This study demonstrates applicability of two distinct data sources for travel behavior research. Questions relating to reverse-commuting are raised with respect to all working residents, and working residents in low-income households located in Minneapolis.

Census of Population and Housing, 1990 Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) and the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council Travel Behavior Inventory (TBI) provide details on aspects of commute and travel patterns. Examining organization and methods of analysis appropriate to determining particular travelrelated information presents a unique perspective on the advantages and shortcomings of each data set.

PUMS data provide detailed household and work-journey information. To answer reverse-commuting questions posed in this study, we consider household income, worker occupation, state and Public Use Microdata Area of employment, number of persons in each household, means of transportation used for the journey to work, and work journey duration.

TBI data contain a wealth of information on both the work journey and other trips, but lack the depth of socioeconomic data available in the PUMS file. The value of TBI data in responding to this series of questions lies in the details about trip location and purpose.

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