Improving Transportation Data Programs: Toward International Cooperation

Focus Area



Air Quality, Environmental Process






1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

Most countries collect various transportation-related
data, such as roadway facility supply, vehicle ownership and use, transit
service, traffic crashes, fuel consumption, and pollution emissions, but there
is a lack of consistency in how these factors are defined, how data are
collected, and how the information is distributed. Several current
international programs are developing data standards and improving data program
quality, but the U.S. and Canada are not participating.


This program will consist of a report on transportation
program best practices, a survey of international efforts to improve data
quality, and recommendations for ways to better integrate transportation data
programs between various jurisdictions, agencies and countries. For information


José A. Barbero (2011), Assessment of Transport Data
Availability and Quality in Latin America, InterAmerican Development Bank (; at


CAI-Asia (2012), Knowledge Partnership for Measuring Air
Pollution and GHG Emissions in Asia, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (; at


CCAP (2010), Data & Capacity Needs for Transportation
NAMAs, Center for Clean Air Policy (;


Global Transport Intelligence Initiative (
is collaboration by international organizations involved in the collection,
analysis and dissemination of transport data.


Todd Litman (2007), “Developing Indicators For
Comprehensive And Sustainable Transport Planning,” Transportation Research
Record 2017, Transportation Research Board (,
2007, pp. 10-15; at
Also see Well Measured: Developing Indicators for Comprehensive and Sustainable
Transport Planning, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2013), Valuing and Improving
Transportation-Related Data Programs: Report From 2013 TRB Sessions, Victoria
Transport Policy Institute (; at


Anthony May, Susan Grant-Muller, Greg Marsden and
Sotirios Thanos (2008), Improving The Collection And Monitoring Of Urban Travel
Data: An International Review, 08-1244, TRB Annual Meeting (; summary at


SloCat (2010), The Improvement of Developing Country
Transport Data Collection, Analysis and Dissemination, prepared by The
Partnership for Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport for the United Nations
Department Of Economic And Social Affairs (;
summary at 


STI (2008), Sustainable Transportation Indicators: A
Recommended Program To Define A Standard Set of Indicators For Sustainable
Transportation Planning, Sustainable Transportation Indicators Subcommittee
(ADD40 [1]), Transportation Research Board (;


Transportation Statistics Interest Group (


UNECU (2008), Annual Bulletin Of Transport Statistics For
Europe And North America, Economic Commission For Europe (; at;
data spreadsheet at 

Urgency and Payoff

Urgent with high payoff. This would improve data
program efficiency and quality, leading to better transport research and

Suggested By

Todd Litman Victoria Transport Policy Institute 2503601560

[email protected]