Council launches travel behavior household survey

Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Originally posted 4/16/2018; updated 9/26/2018

Collecting information on day-to-day travel is vital for local, county and regional agencies to plan for future transportation needs. That’s why the Metropolitan Council is asking 7,500 households in the region to take part in a survey to understand how they travel around their communities. The Travel Behavior Inventory (TBI) survey will be conducted in partnership with the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation.

Cars driving and parked on a main street.The Council will launch the study in October, mailing invitations to a random selection of households across 19 counties to participate. Invited households live throughout the greater Twin Cities region, including the seven-county metro area and three Wisconsin counties. The information gathered will help the Council capture a complete picture of daily travel activities.

“Knowing how and why people travel in our region helps us make the right transportation investments at the right time,” said Hennepin County Board of Commissioners Chair Jan Callison. “Participating in this survey is a great way to contribute to the development of a 21st century transportation system that benefits all modes of travel.”

Smartphone app makes participating easy

Most households will participate in the study for seven days through the smartphone application rMoveTM. rMove makes participation simple and convenient, while also improving the overall quality of information collected. After downloading the app, participants just go about their daily life. Throughout the week rMove will ask why they made trips, who was with them, and how they traveled. The data collected will help the Council to understand how day-to-day travel varies across the region.

“This is the only set of data that the Council has available to fill in the travel outside of commuting,” explained Nick Thompson, Director of Metropolitan Transportation Services. “When you consider that nationally, the work commute only accounts for about one-fifth of all travel, this survey is a critical tool in understanding the other 80%.”

Households can also participate online or over the telephone, if they prefer, making sure that all those invited can contribute to this important study.

Better technology means more complete data

The TBI study has been conducted every 10 years starting in 1949. Beginning this year, the Council will transition to collecting data every other year using new methodologies to keep pace with rapid changes in the transportation industry.

As technologies and the way people get around continue to change, the survey data will help agencies propose practical transportation investments, produce competitive federal grant applications and prioritize the improvements that best fit regional needs.

“The idea is that with this technology, the Council will be able to collect travel data easily and more often – every two years, which will help our Council, policymakers, and local communities see emerging trends more quickly,” Thompson said.

Follow the Metropolitan Council on Facebook and Twitter for updates about this study.

Posted In: Planning, Transportation