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59 Alighting: Act of getting off a transit vehicle. Boarding: Act of getting on a transit vehicle. Completion rate: Ratio of the number of complete surveys to the number of questionnaires distributed (what qualifies as âcompleteâ and the specific way this rate is calculated varies). Computer-aided telephone interview (CATI): An interview-based survey technique where the participant is contacted over the phone to complete a survey; the surveyor uses a computer program to input the results. Destination: Terminal point of a trip using any mode of transportation. General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS): Defines a common format for public transporta- tion schedules and associated geographic information, which are made publicly accessible. MPO: Metropolitan planning organization. Origin: Starting point of a trip on any mode of transportation. Passive data: Data collected for purposes other than completing a survey, which may be used to augment or replace survey results. Question nonresponse: When survey respondents systematically skip certain survey questions. Representative sample: Survey sample that includes a representative slice of the population. Response rates: Ratio of the number of returned surveys to the number of questionnaires distributed (the specific way this rate is calculated varies from one agency to another). Rider survey: Surveys that are conducted in-person, generally in a public place or business (also called intercept survey or on-board survey). Route sequencing: All the route numbers that will be used on a one-way trip. Sample: Group of people that the survey administrator or researcher selects and contacts to be included in a survey. Sample bias: Systematic errors created by a sampling method. Sample error: Difference between a true, but unknown, value for an entire population and the observed value gathered from a sample. Sampling frame: Complete listing of all specific items in the identified study population (for on-board transit surveys, the frame usually consists of all customers who are on the bus or rail routes that are being studied). Glossary of Terms
60 Public Transit Rider OriginâDestination Survey Methods and Technologies Sampling plan: Detailed outline of what measurements will be taken at what times, on which material, in what manner, and by whom. Seat drops: Survey technique in which a researcher drops off questionnaires (i.e., on train or bus seats) for respondents to complete in their own time. Simple random sample: Sampling technique in which each respondent is selected by chance from the larger population, and the probability of selecting any individual within a sampling frame is the same. Stratified random sample: Survey sampling technique in which the sample frame is divided in homogeneous subsets, or strata, and then random sampling techniques are used to select individuals from within those strata. Study population: Subset of the target population that it is possible to reach to conduct the survey (for on-board transit surveys, the target and study populations are usually the same). Survey method: Way in which a survey questionnaire is distributed and completed (i.e., online, paper, phone, or handheld device). Systematic sample: Sampling technique in which every Nth trip within the sample frame is selected to participate in a survey (also called an interval sample). Target population: Population of interest to the research (for surveys that examine transit trip- making behavior, the target population of the survey are trips utilizing transit; also called a theoretical population).