Standards for household travel surveys: some proposed ideas

In this paper, the state of practice with respect to specifying standards for household travel surveys in general is reviewed. Standards are found to be non-existent, while those for any type of social survey are found to be uncommon, and to deal with only a few aspects of surveys. A number of proposed standards are outlined, including details of the analysis that, in some instances, has led to the proposals. The first ones have to do with the initial design phases of a survey, including when a pilot survey or pretest should be done, how to determine a sample size for a pretest or pilot survey, and what is involved in comparing alternative designs within a pilot survey. The second area concerns the instrument design, and addresses such areas as the core set of questions that should be included in any household travel survey, standardising the categories for answers, and developing standard question wordings for certain questions, such as income. A third area includes issues such as the time of day to begin and end a survey, how to report time of day, how to handle answering machines and repeated requests for call backs, reducing incorrect reporting of non-mobility, proxy reporting, and specifications concerning mailing materials. The final area considered in this paper is that of coding of survey results, including missing values, coding complex variables like activities, and computing response rates. Illustrations are provided, where possible, of the consequences of not having standards and the difficulties and loss of quality that have arisen in past surveys. It is concluded that household travel survey quality could be enhanced significantly by adoption of standards in all of the areas discussed in this paper.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 24p
  • Monograph Title: Moving through nets: the physical and social dimensions of travel: 10th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research, Lucerne, 10-14 August 2003

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01443419
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 25 2012 1:18AM