Study FAQs

Generation Information
Taking the Survey
Completing Your Travel Log
Using the MyTripDiary Phone APP

General Information

Who is sponsoring this survey?

This project is sponsored by the Florida Department of Transportation, District 4.

What is the Treasure Coast Regional Households Travel Survey?

The Treasure Coast Regional Household Travel Survey (TC-HTS) is an in-depth study of the travel characteristics of the local residents within Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties. The survey will collect
travel information from 1,925 households about where and how residents traveled on a selected weekday.

To ensure we collect data from a representative sample of the region’s population, each selected household will be asked questions about their demographics and travel routines. The data will provide a better picture of the daily travel of residents in the region. This information will help transportation planners to determine how to enhance public transportation in the area, improve roads, reduce traffic congestion, and improve walking and bicycle paths.

Who is conducting this survey?

The survey will be conducted by a transportation consulting firm, CTS Engineering, inc. with the support of a local public communications firm, Quest Corporations of America (QCA), and another transportation engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), beginning with survey design and a full survey in spring 2017.

The data collected will be used only for transportation planning purposes. Your data will not be sold or used for commercial purposes. For more information on our privacy policy, visit our Privacy Policy Page.

How was my household selected?

Your household was randomly selected in the survey from a list of addresses in the region. By selecting households at random, we ensure representative samples from all different community types.

Why should I participate?

The survey is an important component in the regional transportation planning process. Your input will help improve the roads, increase public transportation options and shorten commuting times. The travel survey is a critical data source for developing sound transportation policy and helping ensure a strong factual foundation for transportation investment decisions that will directly benefit you.

Aside from improving the transportation system in my area, what other benefits will the survey data have on my community?

By reducing traffic congestion and improving our transportation options, we can improve the air quality in your neighborhood. Also, we help make our economy grow by making it easier to travel to our jobs or shopping centers.

What will FDOT do with the data I provide?

Transportation planners are interested in how people travel from place to place.  The data you provide will be statistically summarized to describe these travel patterns in a general way that represents all households in the region.

What will I be asked to do for the survey?

If you received a letter asking you to participate in the survey, we are asking you to complete a two-part survey. You will need a Household ID to complete the survey. The Household ID is assigned to you randomly and can be found in the letter.

For Part One of the survey, we are interested in some general background information about your household members. Some surveys take about five minutes to complete. On average, Part One of the survey will take about 15 minutes to complete, depending on the size of your family.

For Part Two of the survey, we would like the household members to complete a diary about their daily travel. You can do it by using our smartphone APP MyTripDiary, through our website,  by phone, or by regular mail.

Who can I contact for more information?

You can contact the survey team about the Regional Travel Survey by call toll free 1-888-201-5226 or by email help@treasurecoastsurvey.com.

How long will you be conducting the study?

We will be collecting data during Spring 2017.

Will information from the survey be available to the public?

To keep your information private, only summarized information from the study will be released. No individual person or family data will ever be made available to the public.

What if I don’t feel comfortable answering some of the questions?

We are required by law to adhere to strict confidentiality regulations for all the information collected. Your privacy is respected and you do not need to answer any question that you don’t feel comfortable with.

What if out-of-the-ordinary events happen during my assigned travel day that changes my travel?

Every day, many households in the region have an out-of-the-ordinary travel day. This is important for us to measure, because these differences balance out. Even if the assigned travel day turns out to be out-of-the-ordinary for you or someone else in your household, it is important to complete the study. If our study gathered only “normal” travel days, it would not give us an accurate picture of real travel patterns.

What if I travel out of the region during my assigned travel day?

Even if you leave the region, we are still interested in your travel data. It is expected that some portion of the population travels outside the region each day, and we want to make sure we capture those travelers as well.

What if I don’t drive a car?

We are interested in all types of travel. This includes travel by car, bus, walking, bicycle, or any other means you use to get around. We need data for all modes of travel during the study time period.

What if I don’t travel very much?

You represent many people in the region who do not travel very much, and your data is important for us to understand the reasons for the amount of travel you do make.

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Taking the Survey

Why do you need to know information about my household?

Researchers have found that how people travel to work, school or other locations is often influenced by a person’s background. By answering questions about your household, engineers and planners can improve the transportation for the different groups of the population within Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties.

How long will the survey take?

Some surveys take about five minutes to complete part one of the survey. On average, part one of the survey will take about 15 minutes to complete, depending on the size of your family.

On average, each days travel journal will take about 15 minutes, depending on the number of trips taken.

What is meant by “travel” and “activities”?

Travel is moving from one place to another, while activities are what you do while in a place. For example, driving from your house to the mall would be a trip, while shopping is an activity you do once you are at the mall.

Why do you want to know about my activities?

By answering if you were shopping, working, dropping a friend off or any other activity, you will help researchers understand the purpose of your trip. This information allows transportation planners to better understand the reasons behind trips that people living in the region make.

Why do you need to know when and where each activity took place?

This allows us to better understand how far you travel and how much time you spent traveling. This information is used to help reduce traffic congestion and improve transportation options.

Why do you need to know my occupation or job?

One of the primary reasons for travel is to commute to and from work. Knowing how people employed in different occupations travel will help planners prepare when a new business or school opens in our region.

Why do you need to know when and where our children go to school?

By understanding how families travel to school, planners can improve school bus routes, bicycle lanes and roads around our schools.

Why do you need to know the household income?

Our research indicates that household income is directly related to decisions that influence people’s travel behavior, such as place of work or shopping, means of transportation, whether to use a toll road, etc. Therefore, household income is an important variable in our travel demand model to forecast future travel patterns and plan for future transportation improvements.

What do you need to know if I do volunteer work?

We consider routine volunteer work the same as regular paid work except that the volunteer work trip may have different travel characteristics in terms of schedule, destination, or vehicle frequency. The volunteer work trips also need to be accounted for in our planning process.

What do you need to know my race?

We need to collect information about race because we want to make sure our surveyed households represent the true composition of the population.

What do you need to collect travel information from all family members?

As the clichés goes: the youngest family member dictates your travel schedule. We believe household members often make their travel decisions based on their needs and availability of vehicles in the household. We would like to replicate the joint decision making process in our model to accurately forecast the trips made by the household.

Why can’t I just use the phone APP or the Travel Logs to record my travel without doing the Household Log first?

Because we also need to know who made the trips so we can build the connection between people who travel and how they travel. When forecasting travel in the future, the only input information we have is estimated household characteristics and economic activities.

Why do I need to record my travel for a weekday not a weekend?

Work and school commute trips make up more than 20% of the daily trips and are the main cause of traffic congestion during peak hours on weekdays. People tend to have a different travel pattern on the weekend, and congestion is less severe in most cases.

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Completing your Travel Log

What do I need to do in order to complete part two of the survey, my travel log?

After completing Part One, the Household Log, you will be asked to select a weekday for all your family members to record their travels. You can then either download the MyTripDiary APP and use the phone APP to record your travel, or use the Travel Logs included in the invitation package to log your travel.

At the end of travel day, if you used the Phone APP, simply answer a few questions regarding the trips identified by the APP. If you used the Travel Log, you can either mail it back using postage paid envelope included in the letter, enter it online, or call our toll free number to report your travels.

How do I complete the Travel Log for other family members?

We do require that every member of the household completes his or her travel log. To report the travel logs for all household members, you will need to complete the Travel Log multiple times. After you complete the Travel Log for one family member, you will need to repeat the same process for another family member by using the same Household ID but selecting a different person from the list of household members.

What if I have misplaced my materials?

Please call us toll-free at 1-888-201-5226 or email us at help@treasurecoastsurvey.com.

What if I am having difficulty with the survey website?

Please call us toll-free at 1-888-201-5226 or email us at help@treasurecoastsurvey.com.

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Using the MyTripDiary Phone APP

Does MyTripDiary use a lot of battery?

The phone APP uses GPS locational services in the background continuously, it does use additional battery power. However, our testing shows the APP uses modest battery power comparable to other similar APPs. Please make sure your phone is fully charged before your travel day. In the meantime, we will provide you with a Portable Battery Power Bank if you choose to use the Phone APP.

Can my family members choose different methods to record our travel surveys?

Yes. Our survey has been designed so that you can complete the survey however you choose. However, if you choose to use the paper version of the Travel Log, please make sure to send the Travel Log back to us using the enclosed postage-paid envelop.

How do I receive a Portable Battery Power Bank?

We will send you a Portable Battery Power Bank by mail as soon as you complete the Household Log and choose to record your travel by using the MyTripDiary APP. In rare cases, we could even deliver one to you to the location of your choosing. You may keep the Power Bank after your complete the survey.

Why do I have to enter my Household ID twice?

We wanted to make sure you have entered your own household ID.

Why is the END RECORDING button grayed out?

We would like you to record your trips for a 24-hour period. To avoid accidental closing of the recording process, we set a timer of 18 hours for the END RECORDING button so it remains deactivated for 18 hours before you can end recording. After 18 hours, you may choose to end recording if you have reached the end of your travel day and will not go anywhere else.

Do I really need to record my travel for 24 hours?

It depends on your travel day. If your travel activities are completed in less than 24 hours, you can stop recording after 18 hours, and be sure to answer all the questions about those trips.

What should I do if I accidentally ended recording before I complete my travel?

That’s not a problem. Simply press “START RECORDING” again and continue to record your travel for the rest of the travel day.  Your data won’t be lost, and MyTripDiary will still be able to identify all your trips for the recording period.

What should I do if MyTripDiary missed some of my trips?

MyTripDiary is designed to capture all your trips made during the travel day. If for some reason, after you ended recording, you believe MyTripDiary missed some of your trips, you can go to the survey website, and use the Travel Log to add the missing trips.

I notice that my phone is getting slower a few hours after I started recording my trips, is it normal?

Yes, it is normal. As MyTripDiary continues to collect GPS points, more data points will be saved to your phone as time goes by. If the RAM on your phone is less than 2GB, you will notice a slowdown in your device.

What should I do if MyTripDiary mis-identified my trips?

MyTripDiary could sometimes mis-identify some trips, particularly when you are traveling at a low speed, and when there is no clear break between your trips (e.g, a quick stop to drop mail in post office, drive-through at a fast food restaurant, etc.). If you think the APP did not identify the trip correctly, please click on the “Not My Trip” button to remove the trip. You can then go to the survey website to report the correct trips online.

What if I have additional questions about the GPS Phone APP?

Please feel free to contact CTS Engineering, at 1-888-201-5226 or help@treasurecoastsurvey.com. We will be glad to answer any questions you might still have.