This project is sponsored by the Florida Department of Transportation, District 4.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can contact the survey team about the Regional Travel Survey by call toll free 1-888-201-5226 or by email email@example.com.
We will be collecting data during Spring 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Taking the Survey
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By understanding how families travel to school, planners can improve school bus routes, bicycle lanes and roads around our schools.
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.
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.
We need to collect information about race because we want to make sure our surveyed households represent the true composition of the population.
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.
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.
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.
Completing your 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.
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.
Please call us toll-free at 1-888-201-5226 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please call us toll-free at 1-888-201-5226 or email us at email@example.com.
Using the MyTripDiary Phone APP
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.
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.
We wanted to make sure you have entered your own household ID.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please feel free to contact CTS Engineering, at 1-888-201-5226 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be glad to answer any questions you might still have.