The Transportation Tomorrow Survey (TTS) is one of the most extensive travel data collection surveys worldwide. TTS is a cooperative effort by local and provincial government agencies to collect information about urban travel in southern Ontario. The survey has been undertaken every five years since 1986. It is a revealed preference travel data survey, collecting information on the previous day’s trips for a 5% sample of households in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) and surrounding municipalities. Data collected includes household and demographic information as well as trip details, including start time of the trip, trip mode and purpose and any transit routes used on the trip. This project aims to collect comprehensive data on trip patterns and choices made by each member of a sample of households.
We were awarded the contract for this study in 2016, which marked the first time that the full administration of the survey had been turned over to an external vendor.
As part of our management of the project, we made two structural changes. The first was implementing an online survey option in English and French using our Triptelligence™ survey platform. This meant that participants could complete the survey online or by phone. We also changed the methodology to include not only listed telephone phone numbers but also households for which only an address was known. This increased the representativeness of the data as it allowed us to reach young households, newcomers to Canada, and other individuals without a landline.
We achieved 172,000 survey completions with residents of the GTHA in the autumn of 2016, which was the first time that all data collection for this project was completed in a single year. The survey was administered in English and 24 other languages. We refined the original survey questionnaire, programmed the survey for telephone and online administration, developed the sample plans, publicized the survey, and developed an information portal for survey respondents and the public. We also completed geocoding for this survey to make sure all surveys were relevant to the GTHA. The majority of the geocoding and quality assurance was completed concurrently during surveying, improving the overall quality and efficiency of data collection.
The collected data helped local and regional governments and the province and its agencies make transportation planning and investment decisions.