LANSING — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) are kicking off a yearlong household travel survey that will provide vital information necessary to set transportation priorities for the next 20 years. The survey, MI Travel Counts, will be conducted by Westat, a nationally recognized research firm, for MDOT and SEMCOG.
Transportation agencies will use the data to better understand changes in household travel and project citizens’ future travel needs. The survey isn’t new; the same type information was last collected by MDOT and SEMCOG in 2004-2005, and updated by MDOT in 2009.
“MI Travel Counts will paint a picture of why people travel and how they plan their daily travel activities,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “It will provide MDOT and its transportation partners with up-to-date information to identify where to invest limited transportation resources.”
This year randomly selected households will receive a letter inviting household members to participate in the study by providing some demographic information and filling out a travel diary. The diary will detail household activities for 24 hours; information can be provided online or by phone. Some participants will be asked to take part in a small section of the study that will use global positioning systems (GPS) devices provided by Westat to collect specific route information about all the places visited over a three-day period. As in 2004-2005 and 2009, the information provided to MI Travel Counts will be converted to statistical data and used only for study purposes. All information will remain confidential.
“Public participation is the key to effective transportation planning,” said Steudle. “These households will share information that will result in easier and safer travel, less congestion and more access and choices for every Michigan citizen.”
For more information about MI Travel Counts, call 517-335-2956 or visit www.mitravelcounts.com. You also can follow the study on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/mitravelcounts and www.twitter.com/mitravelcounts.