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Research Project

Systemwide Information for Transportation Assessment: American Community Survey (ACS) Data

The new American Community Survey is the replacement for the long form from which the Census Transportation Planning Package (CTPP) is derived. In contrast to the decennial census, the ACS allows a substantial increase in the number and types of inquiries that can be addressed. The ACS is a new product with many questions about its use. While some of these have been raised and answered, there is considerable merit to identifying the major unanswered questions regarding the use and value of the ACS. This effort to identify the important questions regarding the ACS will constitute the early focus of the study.

Principal Investigator
Sööt, Siim
Research Area(s)
Data Development
Funding Source
Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)


Most of the study will focus on Lake County, one of the early test sites of the American Community Survey (ACS). The following studies will be performed:

  • Examine the commuting characteristics in the growth areas in western Lake County, with no expressways, and contrast it to the more established eastern half, with several expressways.
  • Examine the seasonality of commuting.
  • Study the changes in commuting patterns of the growing minority populations in Lake County, especially Latino and African American populations.
  • Track changes in cross-county commuting from Lake County, especially into Kenosha County, WI and McHenry County to the west, in addition to Cook County in Chicago.
  • Track the changes in travel times and travel modes to work and explore the reasons for these changes.
A report or paper from this research is not immediately available.