Comparing GPS and Non-GPS Survey Methods for Collecting Urban Goods and Service Movements

This article, from a special issue on freight transport, presents the results of a pilot data collection effort that collected commodity, mode choice, and commercial vehicle movement data. The Region of Peel Commercial Vehicle Survey collected data from a sample of 600 shippers and a sample of their drivers from a region located just west of Toronto, Canada. The authors tested two survey approaches: a mail-based survey and a mail-based survey with a GPS supplement. They report on the implications of their findings for urban goods movement. Comparisons of commercial vehicle tour behavior and stop location and time as reported in the paper survey forms and as recorded in the GPS units are used to evaluate the effectiveness of the GPS in identifying stops as well as the potential use of GPS as a passive replacement for more traditional paper and pencil survey methods. The authors conclude that reasonable response rates are achievable if careful attention is paid to all aspects of survey design, pretesting, multiphase recruiting, and followup telephone calls; neither GPS nor driver-reported surveys are able, on their own, to reflect the full extent of commercial vehicle travel; and GPS supplements are logistically difficult but possible to implement and they tend to increase the response rate.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Special Issue on Freight Transport: Data, Models, and Policies.
  • Authors:
    • McCabe, Stephanie
    • Kwan, Helen
    • Roorda, Matthew J
  • Publication Date: 2013-6


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01493578
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 28 2013 2:39PM