Parsons Brinckerhoff and Clearbox in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently used “Big Data” to analyze travel patterns and travel demand along US 1, a key corridor in Moore County, North Carolina. The purpose of the study was to answer the question of whether the corridor serves primarily local traffic or visitor traffic in order to clarify the purpose and need of a key roadway improvement project. Cell phone location data was collected and used to support this analysis, and was beneficial in identifying major origin-destination patterns and for understanding the flows along US 1. Visualization of this data was successful in explaining results to the public and elected officials, helping to validate their assumptions.

This presentation will cover the processing and analysis of the mobile phone data to support this data, key challenges and methods for overcoming these challenges, as well as sharing one approach for how mobile phone data can be used to “tell the story” using locally collected data in the support of transportation planning analysis. This presentation will be beneficial to other travel modelers and public agencies considering new sources of data to support their planning analysis work.