Household Travel Survey

Every other year, the Met Council randomly invites about 7,500 households to take part in a survey to understand how people travel around the region. Households invited to participate include those in the seven-county metro area, as well as 3 Wisconsin counties. The resulting survey data helps agencies propose practical transportation investments, produce competitive federal grant applications, and prioritize improvements that best meet regional needs.

In 2015, the Council conducted a study that evaluated the way we administer the Travel Behavior Inventory household survey, and how we use the data for travel forecasting and funding decisions. Following that study, the Council shifted the survey to a continuous cycle, collecting data every two years to keep pace with rapid changes in the transportation industry.

Survey cycle

The new survey cycle began in 2019 with the first round of data collection. Plans for the second round of the survey were disrupted by the 2020 arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Met Council pivoted and tapped into a panel of participants from the 2019 household travel survey to study the short and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey cycle resumed in 2021 with a panel that began in the summer and wrapped up in early 2022.

Planning for the third survey wave is currently underway and is scheduled to begin in fall 2022.

Survey tools

Most households participate in the study for seven days through the smartphone application rMoveTM. The application makes participation simple and convenient, while also improving the overall quality of information collected. After downloading the app, participants go about their daily life and the application logs individual trips. Throughout the week the application will ask questions like why a household member made a trip, who was with them, and how they traveled.

There is also an option to do a one-day travel diary and submit those trips online or over the phone.


This study is sponsored by the Met Council in partnership with Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.


Jonathan Ehrlich
[email protected]