California Department of Transportation

California Household Travel Survey

light railThe California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) conducts the California Household Travel Survey (CHTS) every ten years to obtain detailed information about the socioeconomic characteristics and travel behavior of households statewide.  

Regional travel models, the Statewide Travel Demand Model, and the Statewide Integrated Interregional Transportation Model use this information as a base to forecast future travel behavior.



The purpose of the CHTS is to update the statewide database of household travel behavior which will be used to estimate, model and forecast travel throughout the State. The 2010 CHTS will be conducted to provide regional trip activities and inter-regional long-distance trips that will be used for the statewide model and regional travel models. The CHTS data will be used to develop and calibrate regional travel demand models to forecast the 2015, 2020, 2035 and 2040 Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) and enable Senate Bill 375 and Senate Bill 391 implementation.


Caltrans, California Association of Councils of Governments (CALCOG), California Energy Commission, Air Resources Board, Department of Public Health, Housing and Community Development and regional agencies have organized a Steering Committee and prepared a work plan and funding plan for implementation of the CHTS. The Steering Committee oversees the CHTS and ensures statewide coordination of regional and statewide survey efforts.
Several agencies are contributing to the funding of this survey and requesting additional samples.  Those agencies and the amount from each are:

            Strategic Growth Council: $2,028,000
            Metropolitan Transportation Commission: $1,515,000
            Southern California Association of Governments: $1,402,190       
            Council of Fresno County Governments: $49,500
            Kern Council of Governments: $118,000
            Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments: $183,810
            San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District: $150,000
            Santa Barbara County Association of Governments: $33,000
            Tulare County Association of Governments: $49,500

In addition to the above agencies, California Energy Commission is contributing $250,000 for on board diagnostic surveys for fuel consumption and emission analysis studies.

Consultant Team

NuStats LLC was the prime contractor on this project and conducted the survey in collaboration with several sub-consultants, including GeoStats and Franklin Hill Group. Together, the team brought unparalleled expertise in survey design and implementation, modeling and application of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.

The survey used several methods to collect the data, including;

  • Traditional telephone interviews
  • Manual completion of travel diaries
  • On line completion of travel diaries
  • Vehicle and "wearable" GPS
  • On Board diagnostic devices


The full survey started in January 2012 and ended on January 31, 2013.  A total of 42,431 California households completed the survey and submitted their travel information. Survey data was analyzed and validated. The CHTS Final Survey Report is available through the link below.


CHTS_Final Report



(Charts.xls contains electronic versions of the charts in Section 8 of the Final Report)


CHTS data is now posted on "Transportation Secure Data Center" at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL):

Please contact or for more information



The survey data will be used by various divisions within the Department’s headquarters and district offices. These include the Division of Transportation Planning, Division of Mass Transportation, and the Division of Aeronautics. The California Energy Commission will use the data for their vehicle choice model and other vehicle fuel related studies.  The Air Resources Board uses the results of this survey for a variety of purposes. Some examples of how the information is used include:

  • Analysis of vehicle purchase behavior and its relation to household income
  • Implementation of State’s Air Toxics Programs at the State and local Air Pollution Control or air Quality Management District levels
  • Implementation of risk assessment methods and policies
  • Analysis of impact of air pollution related health hazards on household decision making for their residence location

Other customers include metropolitan planning organizations, regional transportation planning agencies, universities and private consultants.

FOR more information, CONTACT:

Soheila Khoii
Phone: (916) 651-7578

Mohammad Assadi
Phone: (916) 654-4238

Page updated on September 20, 2013