What is a household travel survey?

The household travel survey is a program of collecting data from households about the way in which individuals travel. Household individuals voluntarily participate by keeping an online record of the trips they make (eg. shopping, school, movies), or by carrying a provided GPS device to capture trips made.

How does it work?

1.     Households will be randomly selected to participate in the household survey.

2.     Householders will receive mailed notification that their household has been selected. 

3.     A representative from Ipsos Social Research Institute (Ipsos) will subsequently visit the household to explain the survey participation process. 

4.     Once the householder consents to participation, the Ipsos representative will provide each householder a GPS device to carry for five days.

5.     In addition to receiving a GPS device to carry, one cohort of householders will also receive a paper survey to complete on one nominated travel day. The second cohort of householders will be interviewed face to face by the Ipsos interviewer (after the 5 days of carrying the device) about one of the travel days. This process aims to clarify unclear travel information, and to compare cohorts.  

6.     The Ipsos interviewer will collect the GPS device and paper surveys after five days.  

7.     Where no representative from a selected household is available at the time that the Ipsos representative calls, paper surveys and instructions will be left for the householders to complete.

8.     Main Roads will analyse travel patterns in the data to help inform decisions about infrastructure investment. 

9.     Main Roads uses the data to support infrastructure investment decision-making.

10.  Information will be posted about travel patterns to this website. For an example of how travel patterns will be posted on the website, see the Victorian Integrated Survey of Travel and Activity.  

Note: Personally identifiable information about individual householders will be removed before the data is supplied to Main Roads.  Ipsos and its representatives act according to their obligations under the Privacy Act (1988) and the National Privacy Principles.

What is meant by 'travel'?

Travel means the trips taken outside the household. This includes taking public transport to work, driving to a shopping centre, walking across the road to visit a neighbour, riding a bicycle and flying interstate.

Who is Ipsos Social Research?

Ipsos is an experienced market research agency. It conducts research in 83 countries and specialises in the public sector. It has significant experience conducting travel surveys around the world.

Is the survey compulsory?

No. Participation is voluntary; however, we do encourage selected households to participate so that an adequate representation of the entire community is maintained.

Who participates in the surveys?

Each year, between 1500 and 2500 households are randomly selected to participate in the survey. A total of approximately 6500 metropolitan households are expected to participate over four years.  Individuals who express an interest in participating outside of the random selection process will not be able to participate. The random selection process is a statistical procedure that aims to adequately represent the population.

What information is captured by the surveys?

The survey captures information about:

  • Where an individual travels
  • When an individual travels
  • How an individual travels
  • The purpose of the journey.

Travel surveys are conducted all over the world to support infrastructure investment decision-making. For an example of surveys already conducted, and the subsequent results, see the Victorian trav​el patterns.

Why should I participate?

Participating is important for the following reasons:
1. Participating means that the majority of travel preferences are captured and therefore used to shape infrastructure investment decisions. These decisions are important to inform the development of the Perth Transport Model that everyone can benefit from. 

2. The travel data provided by participants helps to: 

  • improve roads
  • improve public transport networks
  • improve cycleways
  • improve pedestrian networks.

Participation will be made as simple as possible; it will involve completing a form with the help of a consultant from Ipsos Social Research acting on behalf of Main Roads, and carrying a GPS device for five days to capture travel trip data. Support materials will be available and a dedicated phone number to speak to support staff at Ipsos.              

When will the survey start? 

The first pilot of the survey began on 23 October 2017, the second pilot started 6 March 2018. The main survey is expected to begin directly following the second pilot and will be conducted over four years.

Why are the surveys important?

The surveys are important because without information about how individuals travel, we cannot adequately build infrastructure to service the community.

Who conducts the surveys?

We ultimately own the project, however Ipsos Social Research has been procured to conduct the survey. Representatives from Ipsos will contact householders.

How are the surveys completed?

Participants will complete paper surveys or carry a GPS for five days. It is a simple survey; however, a helpline is available throughout the five day survey period.   

I don't travel much, is my contribution worthwhile? 

Yes.  Information about all participants is necessary to capture a representation across the community. Whether the participant is elderly, young, a car owner, a cyclist, a full-time walker, all circumstances are relevant and important to capture.  If the sole travel activity is a stroll to the local deli to pick up milk once a week, a record of that travel is valid data.
The objective is to represent the entire community, not just those who are active travellers.  

Will my privacy be protected?

Express consent will be sought prior to conducting the survey. Participation is voluntary. If consent is granted, we will follow privacy requirements under the Commonwealth Privacy Act (1988) and National Privacy Principles. Ipsos Social Research is bound by privacy law and will protect personal and sensitive information.  

Personal information is de-identified before Ipsos provides travel data to Main Roads.

Further information is available on the Privacy page.

What if this week wasn't a normal week for me?

Every day, individuals are making routine trips as well as non-routine trips. It is important to gain a picture of all these trips.

Can children participate?

Children's travel behaviour will be captured; however, forms will be completed by the guardian to capture this information. Children under 12 will not be permitted to carry a GPS device. 

Who can I contact about the surveys?

For general enquiries about the survey, contact:

Dr Wesley Soet

Transport Modelling Manager 

Planning and Technical Services​

p: 138 138

e: transportsurveys@mainroads.wa.gov.au

For media enquiries, contact: media@mainroads.wa.gov.au


Last Updated: 09 May 2018