Development of Comprehensive Guidance on Obtaining Service Consumed Data for NTD


Xuehao Chu

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys


Best practices, Data collection, Manuals, National Transit Database, Passenger miles, Random sampling, Statistical sampling, Templates, Travel surveys


This document proposes "The National Transit Database Sampling Manual." It is developed for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to replace its current guidance (circulars 2710.1A and 2710.2A) to transit agencies on how they may estimate service consumed data through random sampling for the National Transit Database (NTD). It covers the following topics for all modes and types of service: How to obtain a 100% count; How to estimate passenger miles traveled for intermediate years; How to get a sampling plan; How to collect sample data; How to estimate annual unlinked passenger trips or passenger miles traveled; and How to determine monthly unlinked passenger trips. It also comes with an Excel-based template for transit agencies to develop customized sampling plans with sample data from their own services. The FTA is expected to formally adopt a shortened version of this proposed NTD Sampling Manual but has not yet done so by January 2009. Even if the FTA were to decide not to adopt it, however, the best practices presented and the template are useful for transit agencies to reduce their reporting burdens while meeting FTA’s requirements.