Perth Area Travel Household Survey - Introductory Q&As

We have put together Q&As relating to the way the household survey operates, and address some queries from householders who have been asked to participate.

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 (e.g. shopping, school, movies), or by carrying a provided GPS device to capture trips made.

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.

  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 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, householders will be interviewed at their place of residence by Ipsos about one of the travel days. This process aims to clarify any unclear travel information.
  6. The Ipsos representative will collect the GPS device and paper surveys after five days.
  7. We will use the data to support infrastructure investment decision-making.
  8. Travel patterns will be analysed in the data to help inform decisions about infrastructure investment.
  9. 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 .

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 travel patterns .

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.

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

The first pilot of the survey began on 23 October 2017, the second pilot started 6 March 2018. The main survey was launched in May 2018, and will be conducted over four years.
The surveys are important because without information about how individuals travel, we cannot adequately build infrastructure to service the community.
We ultimately own the project, however Ipsos Social Research has been procured to conduct the survey. Representatives from Ipsos will contact householders.
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.

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.

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.

It’s important to gain information on all trips - routine trips as well as non-routine trips.

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.

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.

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.

For general enquiries about the survey, contact:

Dr Wesley Soet

Transport Modelling Manager - Planning and Technical Services

p: 138 138


For media enquiries, contact:



Last Updated: 13 August 2019