In-Person Survey

New challenges, age-old solutions

During the summer of 2017, a team of researchers at the University of Toronto went door-to-door to conduct surveys for an exciting data collection project. This project, more broadly, is designed to prepare for a transition away from primarily landline-based surveys for collection of resident travel data in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) and move towards a mix of web, smartphone, in-person and big data collection.

Input was sought so that we could test the feasibility and real-world potential of a door-to-door survey approach. The current TTS (Transportation Tomorrow Survey) has remained essentially the same since its launch in 1986, but changes are required to deal with decreased use of telephone landlines and also to make the most of the potential offered by new technologies. While collecting data in-person may seem like an archaic means of doing things, complex or open-ended surveys are actually very difficult to carry out using web surveys or telephone interviews. There’s also no better way to ensure that surveys reach every person than to be there in person, knocking on every door.

We want to make use of new technologies like web-enabled tablet computers to improve the efficiency of this age-old method of data collection.

(UPDATE 2017/11/22)

A poster based on the in-person work was presented at the ISCTSC conference in L’Estérel in 2017. You can find a link to the poster below:

Conference poster – PDF

The project was a success with 984 surveys completed. The team came in under budget and the quality of the data collected appears to be high. Further work will be done, with results posted here in instances where these can be made public.