This report describes the rationale, background, establishing organization, and future steps of CATPAD, the Central Archive for Transit Passenger Data. The Central Archive for Transit Passenger Data is a repository that collects, indexes, archives, and makes available online the transit survey instruments, data, and reports collected across the country. This resource is unique in its focus on the disaggregated information of individual transit users – information that is critical for a range of transportation planning analyses. In addition, where available, CATPAD contains aggregated information, such as station boardings and service and fare schedules, to provide key context for the disaggregate person-level data. The Central Archive for Transit Passenger Data seeks to overcome the current impediments to accessing transit survey data by providing a single, searchable, internet archive to store and disseminate this valuable information. The Central Archive for Transit Passenger Data explicitly aims to expand the public return on the considerable investment made to gather transit passenger data. The resource is designed from the start to serve the needs of a range of use cases from transportation planners and policy makers to researchers and community advocates. The goal of CATPAD is to make useful data available to inform transit decision making at all levels and to foster ongoing refinement of the nation’s transit network.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Transit and Passenger Rail

MTI Project



Transit survey, Open data, Passenger information, Repository