USA: A mobile phone app is to be used to provide data for a survey of transport usage in the Minneapolis–St Paul Twin Cities region which being undertaken by the Metropolitan Council in partnership with the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of transportation
Between October 2018 and October 2019, a total of 7 500 randomly selected households will be sent invitations to participate in the study. About a quarter will use an online survey or telephone, but most of the data collected will come from Resource Systems Group’s rMove smartphone app for iOS and Android.
This is intended to make participation simple by using the smartphone’s GPS to anonymously gather data on trips. Throughout participants’ assigned travel week, the app will prompt them to say why they made trips, who was with them and how they travelled.
Metropolitan Council has conducted a study every 10 years since 1949, but from this year it will start collecting data every second year. ‘With this technology, the council will be able to collect travel data easily and more often, which will help our council, policymakers and local communities see emerging trends more quickly’, said Nick Thompson, Director of Metropolitan Transportation Services.
‘This new survey is a deeper look at how people get around the region, giving us better data and a more complete picture of regional trends’, said Metropolitan Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff. ‘Knowing how and why people travel in our region helps local governments make the right transportation investments at the right time.’