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Collaborative Visitor Transportation Survey (CVTS)

What Is CVTS?

The Collaborative Visitor Transportation Survey (CVTS) is a multi-agency effort to obtain a Federal Land Management Agency (FLMA) generic clearance to streamline data collection, making user feedback a more feasible part of transportation planning. This effort is led by FHWA s Western Federal Lands Highway Division and is supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center. FLMAs that have played a key role in the development of the CVTS include: the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

Who Can Utilize the Generic Clearance?

Any FLMA may utilize this generic clearance.

What Steps Are Involved in Using the Generic Clearance?

First, read the CVTS Supporting Statement A and Supporting Statement B to understand if your information collection falls within the purview of the CVTS generic clearance. If yes, you can submit your information collection under CVTS generic clearance 0596-0236. Some general guidelines:

What Data Collection Efforts Have Utilized the Generic Clearance?

  • Alaska: The BLM, USFS, USFWS, and the NPS collaborated on a statewide survey to measure visitor experience performance metrics. Findings from the user surveys (including an on-site intercept and a follow-up online survey) will be incorporated in the Alaska LRTP.
  • White Mountain National Forest (WMNF): The USFS collected information across a number of sites to evaluate and improve visitor transportation and recreation management for the WMNF.
  • Beaver Lake: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gathered information on user experiences, perceptions, and preferences in regards to crowding and transportation safety. Results were used in the update of the Beaver Lake Master Plan and Shoreline Management Plan.
  • Millennial & Baby Boomer Mobility Preferences: U.S. Fish and Wildlife administered this survey to understand Millennial and Baby Boomer interests and preferences with regards to accessing and circulating within FWS units in three western states California, Colorado, and Texas.

For a complete list of Information Collections, see the Inventory of CVTS Information Collections.

How Are CVTS Data Being Managed?

All CVTS data are being managed at, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data repository. Archiving the CVTS data in a central repository provides a valuable opportunity to perform system-wide analysis of visitors transportation-related experiences on Federal Lands. FLMAs utilizing the generic clearance are required to share their survey instrument, dataset, and report with the Volpe Center, who will post the files in the CVTS folder on ScienceBase. Project files (survey instrument, dataset, and final report) should be sent to: If you want to access the CVTS data on ScienceBase, please send your request to


Cole Grisham, FHWA Western Federal Lands:

Margaret Petrella, The Volpe Center:

Kenli Kim, USDA Forest Service Research and Development:

What Is a Generic Clearance?

A generic clearance is an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved plan for a series of information collections utilizing similar methods and questions. Agencies submitting individual collection requests under a generic clearance generally receive expedited OMB review and do not require a public comment period. Learn More.

The CVTS generic clearance includes an OMB-approved compendium of transportation survey questions and data collection methodologies that enable FLMAs to:

  • Measure visitor experience performance metrics related to transportation
  • Quantify users transportation experiences to help target transportation improvements

The CVTS Generic Clearance (Control Number 0596-0236) is housed at the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Learn More.

Links to Key CVTS Documents