NOACA & ODOT Conduct Year-Long Travel Survey in NE Ohio
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) are sponsoring the Northeast Ohio Regional Travel Survey to gain a better understanding of Northeast Ohio’s transportation needs now and in the future as well as to assess how and why people travel in the area. The results of this Global Positioning System (GPS)-based household travel survey will help planners develop transportation projects that serve the region’s needs. NOACA has contracted with GeoStats, a nationally known survey research firm that specializes in the development and use of GPS, to collect and analyze the transportation data.
Between January and December 2012, travel data will be collected from 4,250 randomly selected households in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties. The randomly selected households will be invited to participate in the survey, and eligible household members will be asked to wear a GPS device or use a travel diary for several days to record travel details. The GPS devices use satellites to determine the location of study participants, much like navigation systems for cars. The information collected will be used to develop a better understanding of why and how people make decisions about their daily trips and activities.
Participation in the survey is strictly voluntary but critical to the survey’s success, and the information obtained from the survey is, in turn, crucial to the region’s success.
“Indirectly, this household travel survey will help ensure that transportation projects in northeast Ohio get funded,” says Howard R. Maier, NOACA executive director. “The household travel survey gives us information on how and why people travel so we can update and validate our travel forecast model. Without an up-to-date travel forecast model, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration may not certify our planning process, and if our planning process is not certified, we won’t get federal transportation funds. That’s what makes this household travel survey so important.”
All information that each household provides will be kept strictly confidential. The data will be used in the aggregate for planning and research purposes only.
“If you are invited to take part in the survey, I certainly hope you will,” says Maier. “It is a wonderful opportunity for people to directly participate in the region’s transportation planning process.”
People who are not randomly selected to participate in the survey can visit a website dedicated to the Northeast Ohio Regional Travel Survey, www.neohiotravelsurvey.com, to give their opinions on transportation-related issues.
For more information about the survey, visit the survey website at www.neohiotravelsurvey.com, or contact Gayle Godek, Senior Communications Specialist at NOACA, at 216-241-2414, ext. 283; or Steve Jones, Principal Planner, at ext. 352.