Northeast Corridor Automobile Origin-Destination Study

Northeast Corridor Commission (NEC)

Historically, there have been significant gaps in transportation data for intercity auto travel in the Northeast Corridor (NEC). These gaps have limited the understanding of the usage patterns of the NEC’s highway network, and limited the intercity rail models that could be developed using these data. As a result, the NEC Commission sought to conduct an auto origin-destination (OD) study along the I-95 Corridor between Washington, D.C. and Boston, MA.

RSG conducted this groundbreaking study for the NEC Commission to collect observed-travel behavior data (mainly from E-ZPass transaction data) along the highway network between Washington, D.C. and Boston, MA. RSG used a variety of automated data collection techniques in addition to a survey questionnaire, which allowed for the assessment of the repeatability and accuracy of the automated data collection methods. The survey also collected information that automated data collection cannot (e.g., trip purpose, occupancy). However, the potential automation of data collection will allow the resulting trip tables to be readily updated as needed. This effort will generate an unprecedented OD database of long-distance highway travel patterns that will be extremely helpful for turnpike authorities, state departments of transportation, and metropolitan planning organizations along the corridor. The database will also provide critical support in developing long-range plans for rail system improvements in the Northeast.

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