Since its inception, the Transportation Tomorrow Survey (TTS) has been using a landline telephone directory as a source of potential households to survey. However, it has been suffering from issues in getting a representative set of respondents across all demographics in recent years because of the drastic decline of households with landlines, leading to lack of participation of key demographics (particularly younger adults). Addressing this issue is complicated by known difficulties in reaching and getting responses from individuals through other means like cellphones or email.
As part of the TTS 2.0 development project, an alternative method is being investigated, where individuals are recruited to take the TTS via their place of work. The main motivation for this approach is to try to reach households that have been traditionally harder to reach via household-based frames. Another consideration is to deal with the dropping enthusiasm from the public in answering surveys, particularly detailed ones, by delivering requests via organizations that may hold more sway.
This business survey field test is designed to determine the feasibility of distributing the TTS to employees through their employers. Being investigated are both the willingness of businesses to partner with local and provincial governments for travel data collection, and the impact on response rate by employees when contacted in this manner. In addition, this new approach could facilitate the collection of relevant information about the businesses themselves and their transportation practices, data currently not considered within current travel survey collection.
Travel information collected by the TTS are used by government agencies and industry analysts to plan improvements for transportation infrastructure throughout the region. Data quality improvements to the TTS will help them better understand the transportation need of the region and enhance its long-term transportation planning.
The addition of business specific information will give planners and analysts a clear picture about the transportation needs of businesses and allow them to address those specific needs. The same information could also allow businesses to help its own employees improve their everyday commute. The research team is open to providing findings from the test to interested businesses to facilitate this.