Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Central Indiana Travel Survey

INDIANAPOLIS -Over the next nine months, many Central Indiana residents will be given an opportunity to help area transportation planners better understand their travel needs. Telephone interviewers contracted by the Indianapolis MPO ( are making phone calls and delivering daily travel diaries to up to 4000 randomly selected area households as a part of the Central Indiana Travel Survey. The Central Indiana Travel Survey (CITS) is the first in-depth study of urban household travel behavior in Central Indiana in more than 40 years. IndyMPO, in cooperation with the Madison County Council of Governments (MCCOG), the MPO for the Madison County Urbanized Area, is conducting this study as a part of a long-term effort to improve travel demand modeling and forecasting in Central Indiana.
IndyMPO is conducting the CITS as a part of its long-term effort to improve its ability to model and forecast the demand for travel in Central Indiana. Lori Miser, IndyMPO Executive Director, has made completion of the Central Indiana Travel Survey one of the MPO's primary objectives for 2009. Ms. Miser says, "A well-executed household travel survey will provide a strong foundation to Indianapolis' transportation planning efforts well into the next decade."
Travel forecasts produced by the IndyMPO's travel models are used to help communities plan for future transportation needs of Central Indiana. The outputs of the IndyMPO's travel models are used to help policy makers evaluate and prioritize different regional transportation
projects that are eligible for federal transportation funds. Some of the projects considered for funding include roadway construction and rehabilitation and rapid transit commuter train systems.
IndyMPO has contracted with the travel survey firm NuStats ( and its partner DataSource ( to help design and execute the survey. Survey design and a survey pre-test of more than 300 Central Indiana households have already been completed. Beginning in late March 2009, interviewers began calling households, asking residents to agree to participate in the survey and mailing letters to households without a listed telephone number. If the household agrees, the interviewer asks a series of questions concerning the household's size and composition, vehicle ownership and access and household socioeconomic status. At the end of this first interview, the household is asked to agree to an assigned 24-hour travel day, ideally two weeks from this first phone interview. If the household agrees, travel diaries for each member of the household including instructions on how to use them, are mailed to the household.
An interviewer calls each household the day before the scheduled travel
day to make sure that the mailed materials have arrived , to help remind the household of the upcoming travel day, and to answer any questions they might have. The day after the travel day, an interviewer calls to collect the household's results. After the data from the diaries has been collected over the phone, the household is asked to mail the diaries to NuStats.
By the time interviewing is completed in December 2009, approximately 4,000 households from across Central Indiana will have been surveyed. Interviewers will be making calls in nine counties: Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Morgan, and Shelby counties. Data is scheduled to be compiled and delivered to IndyMPO in March of 2010.
IndyMPO is asking residents to participate because their responses will help our communities plan for better travel options to improve safety and reduce congestion.
To see images of the travel diaries or to get answers to frequently asked questions, please log onto: Residents who are interested in being part of the survey may call 1-888-222-7734 to see if their households have been randomly selected. Households not selected for CITS may contribute their ideas using an alternative, non-random travel survey that will be used in IndyMPO's upcoming long-range planning update.

Each federally-designated urbanized area in the United States with a population of 50,000 or more is required by federal regulations to have a designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to conduct a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning process.
In the Indianapolis region, the City of Indianapolis, Department of
Metropolitan Development (DMD) is the designated MPO, and its planning process is a prerequisite to the area receiving federal funds for transit and highway improvements. The Indianapolis MPO is responsible for transportation planning in all of Marion County and portions of the surrounding counties of Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Shelby, Morgan, and Johnson where suburban growth has occurred. The Indianapolis MPO is also responsible, in cooperation with the Madison County Council of Governments (MCCOG) and the Columbus Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), the MPOs for Madison County and Columbus respectively, for modeling the impact of transportation on air quality issues for the nine counties included in this survey.

For More Information about the
Indianapolis MPO: .
Madison County Council of Governments (MCCOG) can be found at:
Columbus Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) can be found

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