About TTS 2.0

What is the TTS?

The Transportation Tomorrow Survey (TTS) is a household travel survey that, since 1986, has been conducted in the greater golden horseshoe (GGH) once every five years. In the past, the TTS has been an extremely effective means of collecting standardized, high-quality travel data that has been used to support a wide variety of transportation planning, analysis, and modelling applications, infrastructure planning, and academic research. In the 30+ years since the first TTS was conducted, paradigm-shifting changes in communications technology, in addition to other methodological challenges, have impaired the ability of the current methodology to collect the high-quality data that are required for the continued support of these applications in the future.  Further information can be found on the 2016 TTS homepage.

What is TTS 2.0?

TTS 2.0 is three-year R&D program being conducted by the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI) that began in 2015 with the goal of developing the next generation of travel survey methods for operational use in the GGH by the year 2021.  The project is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), Metrolinx, TTC, and municipalities in the GGH (a full list can be found here). TTS 2.0 strives to identify and develop the next generation of data collection methodologies for the GGH, with an emphasis on cost-effectiveness, the collection of high-quality data, and addressing the weaknesses of the current TTS.

What does TTS 2.0 Entail?

TTS 2.0 takes a bottom-up approach to R&D and will explore a wide range of technologies, methods, and data sources. The primary directive of TTS 2.0 is to design for the future, which requires that the proposed methodology be able to address both current and emerging needs, is flexible enough to address future needs, and can facilitate the addition of capabilities to the current TTS where feasible. The three major research components of TTS 2.0 are methodological research and analysis, field testing, and design. The research and analysis task group focuses on four main topics:

• Survey technology (landline, web, smartphone)

• Supplemental data sets (e.g. Presto Card, passive data)

• Survey methodology (the core-satellite paradigm, longitudinal/ continuous surveys)

• Analysis of pilot and field test results (e.g. data fusion)

Throughout the project, the needs-driven testing of technology, the application of the core-satellite paradigm, and incremental and iterative testing will be emphasized, with a focus on being research-based and outcome-oriented.

What is Currently Being Done?

TTS 2.0 is now in the latter stages of the methodological research stage, and in the midst of the field testing stage of the project. The field tests that will be conducted include:

1. Smartphone App

Part of a broader shift away from landline-based data collection methods, this smartphone-based project will test the feasibility and potential for the collection of data via smartphone app.

2. Web Survey

The usability of a travel survey created using the web survey building platform developed in-house (STAISI) will be tested, as part of a larger attempt to collect data more accurately and efficiently.

3. Business Survey

In an attempt to address the declining participation in the TTS in recent iterations, and the adverse impact that it has on data quality, this field test will evaluate the feasibility of distributing travel surveys through employers.

4. In-Person Survey

To address the issues associated with conducting complex and open-ended surveys through other modes, and a part of a shift away from the traditional method of collecting data over a landline, this project will test the feasibility of collecting travel data in person, with the assistance of a tablet.