Minutes of the Household Travel Surveys Subcommittee, ABJ40(1)
Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 12:15 PM-1:15 PM,
Presided by Jimmy Armoogum
Minutes by Stacey Bricka and Jimmy Armoogum
We had a presentation made by Daniel Bergeron (AMT, Montréal) on the on-going travel
survey in Montréal: methods, first results and actual issues (the powerpoint will be posted
on the website www.travelsurveymethods.org).
The region of Montréal has a long tradition of conducting; large-scale household travel
surveys. Every 5 years about 5% of the population is interviewed to describe their mobility.
But there are still some missing and useful information that one wishes to measure such as:
seasonal and annual variations in travel demand and behavior; the economic conditions
affecting personal mobility; in public transit, road networks and demographics. In this
context the Agence metropolitaine de transport of Montréal decided to have an on-going
Perter Stopher (ITLS - The University of Sydney) gave some information on the GPS only
Household Travel Survey in Cincinnati.
It is the first GPS-only household travel survey with a sample of 3,600 households
interviewed and conducted over one year. Each person over 12 years carries a GPS for 3
days, child diaries for 12 years and under. They used a Prompted Recall survey for about 750
households. The survey commenced in August 2009 and ended in August 2010. The
Prompted recall ended in October 2010.
Stacey Bricka (Texas Transportation Institute) initiated a discussion on Electronic and social
media applications in survey outreach. Background:
One topic discussed during the recent HH travel survey webinar
(http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/content/1402) focused on the outreach techniques used to reach
household travel survey respondents. These communications are typically designed to verify
the legitimacy of the survey effort and include: press releases, information packets for
regional stakeholders, and a multi-purpose website that hosts the survey materials,
frequently asked questions, contact information, etc. and also serve as the main portal for
web-based collection tools and other respondent communications. During the webinar,
NYTMC (NYC), ARC (Atlanta), and MetCouncil (Twin Cities) indicated that their outreach
techniques also included social media (facebook and twitter) and YouTube videos to further
communicate with respondents.
All of the traditional techniques are “outward” or one-way communications. The addition of
social media moves us to a possible two-way communication, but this adds the complexity of
determining what to do when this broader form of communication attracts regional
residents who were not randomly sampled for the survey effort – what do you do with
In addition, too much outreach can garner negative attention for the survey. In some
regions where there is a heavy political focus on transportation issues, surveys will be
postponed or scheduled around legislative sessions. In other areas, unhappy respondents
could use these forums to voice issues that may dissuade other potential respondents from
Given the changes in technology, combined with the fact that respondent outreach
techniques are generally more than a decade old, a discussion was held to identify relevant
issues for research, either through research statements or a call for papers. What follows is
a summary of the issues raised. At the conclusion of the discussion, the group determined
that while the topic of respondent outreach definitely deserved attention, it was also time to
consider the full spectrum of tools available for increasing respondent participation. The
discussion notes are in the order raised, to show the flow from social media specifically to
the broader issues.
We should look at the outreach program used by the Census program and see what
we can learn from their use of social media. Also, has that been evaluated and if so,
what were the findings?
What are the potential risks linking data and outreach (Social Media is more public
than generic press releases or individual letters)
Would we set up a specific private “group” to be involved in the survey – and would
this stimulate respondent interaction? Is that good or bad?
Do respondents want the intrusion of the survey into their “private” lives on
To effectively use Social Media, you need a plan – you need to know how your
audience will use it.
There are institutional barriers when it comes to Social Media – some agencies don’t
allow staff access at work. How could agencies then use this tool for their surveys?
Privacy concerns – would need to instruct respondents for setting options in social
Would there be biased introduced through the public respondent feedback?
Someone on the project side would need to monitor comments.
How do we incorporate social media into our methods?
If we use social media, would certain segments of society be excluded?
Public outreach needs to be 2-way communication.
Motivating respondents is very important – we need to increase response rates!
We need to revamp our outreach efforts overall – social media is just one tool.
We need to increase participation overall – outreach is just one part of it.
Who wants to contribute to this discussion?
Shall we write a research statement / call for papers …
End of the meeting: the duration of one hour is very short. Would it be possible to have a
longer slot of time.
List of participants
First Name Name E-Mail Organisation
1 Jimmy Armoogum firstname.lastname@example.org Ifsttar - Dest
2 Kay Axhausen email@example.com ETH - Zürich
3 Daniel Bergeron firstname.lastname@example.org AMT - Montréal
4 Stacey Bricka email@example.com Texas Transportation Institute
5 Ju-yin Chen firstname.lastname@example.org VDOT
6 Alfred Chu email@example.com AMT - Montréal
7 Marco Diana firstname.lastname@example.org Politecnico di Torino
8 Elizabeth Greene email@example.com Ressource Systems Group, inc
9 Bob Griffiths firstname.lastname@example.org MW COG
10 Joseph Huegy email@example.com NCSU - ITRE
11 Eirini Kastrouni firstname.lastname@example.org Iowa State University
12 Michelle Lee email@example.com Geostats LP
13 Yuanjun Li Yuanjun.firstname.lastname@example.org M-NCPPC
14 Paul Metayatos email@example.com UIC
15 Jason Minser firstname.lastname@example.org Abt SRBI
16 Catherine Morency email@example.com Montreal Ecole Polytechnique
17 Elaine Murakami firstname.lastname@example.org FHWA
18 Mike Neidhart mneidhart@GFNET.com Gannett Fleming, Inc.
19 Terri Parker email@example.com Texas Transportation Institute
20 Zachary Patterson zachary.patterson@EPFL.ch Swiss Fed Inst of Technology
21 Clara Reschovsky firstname.lastname@example.org MW COG
22 Owen Roberts email@example.com Ressource Systems Group, inc
23 Tim Spurr firstname.lastname@example.org AMT - Montréal
24 Peter Stopher email@example.com University of Sydney
25 Susan Swain Susanswain@westat.com Westat
26 Kevin Tierney firstname.lastname@example.org Cambridge Systematics
27 Krishnan Viswanathan email@example.com Cambridge Systematics
28 Laurie Wargelin firstname.lastname@example.org ABT-SRBI
29 Chester Wilmot email@example.com LSU
30 Jean Wolf firstname.lastname@example.org Geostats LP