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Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and state departments of transportation (DOTs) use data collected from household travel surveys (HTS) to better understand residents' travel patterns and use the results to update and/or calibrate their travel demand models. Travel behavior trends are examined for forecasting vehicle miles traveled (VMT), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and new public transit investments.
Comprehensive one- and two-day travel diaries collect information about the household, its members, and all the trips completed on a pre-assigned travel date. A pilot study is typically used to test the methods and materials, so that the full study benefits from improvements and refinements (e.g., modifications to question wording or response rate assumptions). Planning and public outreach for the HTS is critical because of declining response rates. Outreach methods increasingly include social media posts, videos, project websites, and targeted materials or contacts with certain hard-to-reach populations in the study region.
HTS typically use the following methods:
The survey instruments typically collect the following information:
The image to the right is a screen capture of an example web-based survey instrument. This particular prompt asks the respondent to provide details corresponding to the trip captured by GPS data.
For the last decade, about 20 of the larger agencies have included a 5% or 10% GPS sub-sample as part of their region's HTS. The primary purpose of the GPS sub-sample has been to generate trip rate correction factors for the other sampled households and account for trip under-reporting often found in diary-based HTS.
The GPS approach is typically conducted as follows:
GPS devices and each household member is asked to use the device for a pre-defined number of days
Most recently, tests on using 100% GPS-only diaries have been conducted in Ohio, and smartphones with embedded GPS and accelerometers are now being tested.
The following list of references can be used to learn more about the topic of HTS: methods, developments/technologies, trends, and data uses.
Recent publications on survey methods:
|Year||Agency/Project||State||Sample Size||GPS Sample||Model Type|
|2011||Genesee Transportation Council (GTC)||NY||3,671||NO||Trip|
|2011||Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)||GA||10,278||YES||Trip/Activity|
|2011||Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC)||WI||16,500||NO||Trip|
|2011||New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC)||NY||18,966||YES||Trip|
|2011||Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG)||DC||4,800||NO||Activity|
|2012||Twin Cities Metropolitan Council||MN||10,362||NO||Trip|
|2012||Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) and Utah DOT||UT||9,159||NO||Trip|
|2012||Metrolina Regional Household Travel Survey||NC||4,231||NO||Activity|
|2012||Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization||TN||6,500||YES||Activity|
|2013||California Department of Transportation (CA DOT)||CA||42,000||YES||Activity|
|Year||Agency/Project||State||Sample Size||GPS Sample||Notes|
|2012||Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)||PA||10,000||YES||Data collection began Fall '12|
|2013||Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC)||WS||2,500||NO||Data collection Fall '13|
|2013||Fairbanks Metropolitan Area Transportation System (FMATS)||AK||TBD||TBD||Data collection Fall '13|
|2013||Memphis Urban Area MPO||TN||TBD||TBD||Data collection Fall '13|