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Chapter 20

Vehicle Occupancy

These studies are used to determine the number of occupants in each vehicle passing a given location or entering/exiting a particular road. They can be used in conjunction with volume studies.

Conducting Studies

The steps in conducting a vehicle occupancy study are planning the study, recording the data and using it.


One uniformed MP is needed at each location.

The study should begin 60 minutes prior to the first work shift arriving for duty and end 15 minutes after the shift has reported for duty.

Separate counts can be made for morning and evening peak traffic periods or during the nonpeak periods.

Counts of passenger cars, trucks and military vehicles should be in separate categories. Counts of buses or taxis should be obtained from transit system records.

At least 500 vehicles per location should be surveyed.


The field sheet and summary sheet below should be used in conducting this study.


The results can be used to:

  • Determine the need for encouraging a car pool program or evaluating an ongoing car pool program. A rate of 3.0 persons per passenger car is considered excellent.
  • Determine the need for future public transit systems, or the need for future traffic or parking facilities.

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