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NATIONAL NCHRP REPORT 571 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Standardized Procedures for Personal Travel Surveys
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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2008 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* OFFICERS CHAIR: Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka VICE CHAIR: Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg John D. Bowe, President, Americas Region, APL Limited, Oakland, CA Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk, VA William A.V. Clark, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles David S. Ekern, Commissioner, Virginia DOT, Richmond Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville Jeffrey W. Hamiel, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN Edward A. (Ned) Helme, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC Will Kempton, Director, California DOT, Sacramento Susan Martinovich, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore Pete K. Rahn, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR Rosa Clausell Rountree, Executive Director, Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, Atlanta Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin Linda S. Watson, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando Steve Williams, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Thad Allen (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC Joseph H. Boardman, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA Paul R. Brubaker, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT George Bugliarello, Chancellor, Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn, and Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC J. Richard Capka, Federal Highway Administrator, U.S.DOT Sean T. Connaughton, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC John H. Hill, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC Carl T. Johnson, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT J. Edward Johnson, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC Nicole R. Nason, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT Jeffrey N. Shane, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT James S. Simpson, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT Robert A. Sturgell, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT Robert L. Van Antwerp (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of January 2008.
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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP REPORT 571 Standardized Procedures for Personal Travel Surveys Peter R. Stopher Rahaf Alsnih THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY Sydney, Australia Chester G. Wilmot LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY Baton Rouge, LA Cheryl Stecher THE FRANKLIN HILL GROUP Santa Monica, CA Joanne Pratt JOANNE H. PRATT ASSOCIATES Dallas, TX Johanna Zmud NUSTATS Austin, TX Wende Mix Mark Freedman WESTAT Rockville, MD Kay Axhausen EIDGENÖSSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland Martin Lee-Gosselin LEE-GOSSELIN ASSOCIATES Ste-Foy, Quebec, Canada Alan E. Pisarski Falls Church, VA Werner Brög SOCIALDATA, GMBH Munich, Germany Subject Areas Planning and Administration Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2008 www.TRB.org
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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY NCHRP REPORT 571 RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project 8-37 approach to the solution of many problems facing highway ISSN 0077-5614 administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISBN: 978-0-309-09926-4 interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually Library of Congress Control Number 2008922854 or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the © 2008 Transportation Research Board accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of COPYRIGHT PERMISSION cooperative research. Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials published or copyrighted material used herein. initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of the method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission Transportation. from CRP. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies was requested by the Association to administer the research program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and understanding of NOTICE modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; it the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval reflects the possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, Governing Board's judgment that the program concerned is of national importance and state and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; its appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. relationship to the National Research Council is an insurance of The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and to review this objectivity; it maintains a full-time research correlation staff of report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions expressed research directly to those who are in a position to use them. or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and, while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical committee, they are not necessarily those of The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, the American by chief administrators of the highway and transportation departments Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or the Federal Highway and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. needs to be included in the program are proposed to the National Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical committee according Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and and Transportation Officials, and the individual states participating in the National surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report. The needs for highway research are many, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other highway research programs. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America
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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP REPORT 571 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Kim Fisher, Senior Program Officer Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Andréa Briere, Editor NCHRP PROJECT 8-37 PANEL Field of Transportation Planning--Area of Forecasting Charles L. Purvis, Metropolitan Transportation CommissionOakland, CA (Chair) Marsha Anderson Bomar, Street Smarts, Duluth, GA Ed J. Christopher, Federal Highway Administration Michael DuRoss, Delaware DOT Kara M. Kockelman, University of TexasAustin Kenneth S. Miller, Massachusetts Highway Department Elaine R. Murakami, Federal Highway Administration Amy O'Leary, Virginia DOT Mary Lynn Tischer, Virginia DOT Nathan S. Erlbaum, AASHTO Monitor Lorrie Lau, FHWA Liaison Thomas Palmerlee, TRB Liaison
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FOREWORD By Kimberly M. Fisher Staff Officer Transportation Research Board Over the past 40 years, significant resources have been spent on collecting data for trans- portation planning. Often transportation agency staff and their consultants struggle with the difficulties of collecting and analyzing the survey data. The transportation planning and data communities have become increasingly concerned about declining response rates and potential sample biases in transportation surveys. Resources are potentially wasted because standards are lacking in both survey methods and assessment procedures. This report con- tains an assessment of the aspects of personal travel surveys that could be standardized, resulting in improvements to the quality, consistency, and accuracy of the resulting data. The results of this research will be useful to transportation practitioners in state depart- ments of transportation (DOTs) and in Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) for preparing statistically sound data collection and management programs. Transportation surveys are the most typical way to obtain personal travel behavior infor- mation used by the transportation community. These surveys serve two primary roles within the transportation planning process: First, they describe travel trends to support understanding of demands on the transportation system and to identify areas in which problems can be expected. Second, they provide information for travel forecasting and other models that are used to identify potential long-term problems and to test the efficacy of proposed solutions. There are no standards for determining what constitutes an acceptable level of quality or reliability in the conduct and evaluation of these surveys. Thus, the quality and design of the surveys may vary widely. Currently, there are no consistent, objective standards applied throughout the transportation community (a) to the survey data and (b) to the conduct, analysis, and application of surveys. Some degree of standardization can improve the con- sistency of transportation-planning data, the accuracy of models, and the quality of trans- portation decisions. Additionally, comparisons of travel from one metropolitan area to another are difficult because of the differences in survey methods. The objective of this project was to develop standardized procedures for improving the conduct, evaluation, and reliability of personal travel surveys. The project identified and pri- oritized those survey procedures (e.g., selecting samples, reporting results, and editing data) within the personal travel survey process that lend themselves to standardization. It defined assessment measures (e.g., standard errors, confidence intervals, response rates, and re- sponse bias) for those procedures and identified costs and tradeoffs to improve the reliabil- ity of survey results. Finally, the project tested and evaluated proposed procedures and their relative effectiveness.
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CONTENTS 1 Summary 5 Chapter 1 Introduction and Research Approach 5 1.1 Background 6 1.2 Study Objectives 7 1.3 Scope 7 1.4 Research Approach 9 1.5 Report Organization 10 Chapter 2 Summary of Recommended Standardized Procedures and Guidelines 11 2.1 Design of Survey Instrument 11 2.1.1 I-1: Minimum Question Specification 12 2.1.2 I-2: Categories for Minimum and Other Questions 13 2.1.3 I-5: Standard Question Wordings 13 2.2 Design of Data Collection Procedures 13 2.2.1 D-1: Number and Type of Contacts 17 2.2.2 D-3: Proxy Reporting 18 2.2.3 D-4: Complete Household Definition 19 2.2.4 D-6: Sample Replacement 20 2.2.5 D-7: Item Non-Response 20 2.2.6 D-8: Unit Non-Response 21 2.2.7 D-10: Initial Contacts 22 2.2.8 D-13: Incentives 22 2.2.9 D-14: Respondent Burden 23 2.3 Pilot Surveys and Pretests 23 2.3.1 P-2: Requirements for Pretests or Pilot Surveys 24 2.3.2 P-3: Sample Sizes for Pretests and Pilot Surveys 24 2.4 Survey Implementation 24 2.4.1 E-2: Ethics 26 2.4.2 E-3: Mailing Materials 26 2.4.3 E-4: Respondent Questions 27 2.4.4 E-5: Caller ID 27 2.4.5 E-9: Answering Machines and Repeated Call-Back Requests 28 2.4.6 E-10: Incorrect Reporting of Non-Mobility 28 2.4.7 E-11: Recording Time of Day 28 2.4.8 E-12: Time of Day to Begin and End Reporting 29 2.4.9 E-13: Creation of ID Numbers 29 2.5 Data Coding Including Geocoding 29 2.5.1 C-1: Geocoding Standards 30 2.5.2 C-2: Level of Geocoding To Be Performed 30 2.5.3 C-4: Missing Values, Use of Zero, Etc. 31 2.5.4 C-5: Coding Complex Variables
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35 2.6 Data Analysis and Expansion 35 2.6.1 A-1: Assessing Sample Bias 36 2.6.2 A-2: Weighting and Expansion of Data 36 2.6.3 A-3: Missing Data Imputation 37 2.6.4 A-4: Data Archiving 37 2.6.5 A-6: Documentation 39 2.7 Assessment of Survey Quality 39 2.7.1 Q-1: Computing Response Rates 40 2.7.2 Q-2: Transportation Measures of Quality 41 2.7.3 Q-3: Coverage Error 42 2.7.4 Q-5: Proxy Reporting as a Quality Indicator 42 2.7.5 Q-6: Validation Statistics 43 2.7.6 Q-7: Data Cleaning Statistics 43 2.7.7 Q-8: Number of Missing Values 44 2.7.8 Q-9: Adherence to Quality Standards and Guidelines 45 Chapter 3 Training Approaches and Priorities 45 3.1 Workshops 45 3.2 Adoption by the Transportation and Development Institute of the ASCE 45 3.3 National Highway Institute Course 46 3.4 Presentation of Results at Professional Conferences 46 3.5 Demonstration Projects 46 3.6 Potential Funding for the Promulgation and Maintenance of the Standardized Procedures and Guidelines 48 Chapter 4 Procedures and Measures for Further Research 48 4.1 Items Initially Identified as Beyond the Scope of this Project 48 4.1.1 D-11: GPS Surveys 49 4.1.2 D-12: Internet Surveys 49 4.1.3 I-8: SP Data 50 4.2 Items Originally Identified and Not Researched 50 4.2.1 D-2: Who Should Be Surveyed? 51 4.2.2 D-9: Times of Day for Contacts 52 4.2.3 E-6: Retention of Data on Incomplete Households 52 4.2.4 E-7: Cross-Checks in Data Collection and Data Review 53 4.2.5 E-8: Days and Periods to Avoid Data Collection 54 4.2.6 I-3: Collection of In-Home Activities 54 4.2.7 I-4: Ordering of Questions 55 4.2.8 I-6: Instrument Design 56 4.2.9 I-7: Multitasking of Activities 57 4.2.10 S-1: Sample Sizes 58 4.2.11 S-2: Sizes of and Procedures for Surveying Augment Samples 58 4.2.12 S-3: Collecting Augment Samples 59 4.2.13 S-4: Stratification Options for Samples 60 4.2.14 S-5: Specification of Sampling Error Requirements 60 4.2.15 S-6: Development of Default Variances 61 4.2.16 P-1: Focus Groups 62 4.2.17 P-5: Reporting of Pretests and Pilot Surveys 62 4.2.18 Q-4: Sampling Error
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63 4.3 Other Research Directions 63 4.3.1 Cell Phones 64 4.3.2 Incentives 64 4.3.3 Personalized Interview Techniques 65 4.3.4 Geocoding Methods 65 4.3.5 Impacts of the National Do Not Call Registry 66 4.3.6 Initial Contacts 66 4.3.7 Refusal and Non-Contact Conversions 67 4.3.8 Effect of Interview Mode on Recruitment and Non-Response Rates 67 4.3.9 Unknown Eligibility Rates 67 4.3.10 Data Archiving in Transportation 68 Chapter 5 Sample Request For Proposals Template 68 5.1 Introduction 68 5.2 Request for Proposals 68 5.2.1 Scope of Work 91 5.2.2 Schedule of Work 93 Glossary 101 References