2015 Edmonton & Region Household Travel Survey

Travel icons, walking, cycling, bus and car



Travel icons, walking, cycling, bus and car

General Information

Making Tracks, the 2015 Edmonton & Region Household Travel Survey gathers information on how, when, where, why people travel.

The survey will provide a reliable ‘snapshot’ of residents’ trip patterns and travel choices over the course of an average 24-hour weekday. This will help transportation planners in the City of Edmonton and the communities in the Capital Region to better anticipate residents’ travel needs, whether they travel on foot, by bicycle, by transit, or driving. Transportation planners will be able to make informed decisions, based on real data, to develop policy and plan future transportation projects.

Your input has a big impact because only a limited number of households are invited to join the study. By representing your neighbourhood and your community, you are ensuring that the survey accurately portrays travel patterns made by residents of your area.

Whether you travel a little or a lot – and whether you walk, cycle, ride transit, or drive – your information is important. Accurate data from all residents (including you!) will mean that future transportation improvements can better reflect the needs of your community.

Invited households were randomly selected from residential addresses and phone numbers within the study area. Households are being invited to participate by letter and by phone.

A household consists of the entire group of persons who live in a dwelling unit and share a kitchen. A dwelling unit could consist of a house, apartment or basement suite, townhouse, duplex, or mobile home etc.

The study area includes:

  • City of Edmonton
  • City of Leduc
  • City of Fort Saskatchewan
  • City of St. Albert
  • City of Spruce Grove
  • Parkland County
  • Leduc County
  • Sturgeon County
  • Strathcona County
  • Lamont County
  • Town of Beaumont
  • Town of Bon Accord
  • Town of Bruderheim
  • Town of Calmar
  • Town of Devon
  • Town of Gibbons
  • Town of Lamont
  • Town of Legal
  • Town of Morinville
  • Town of Redwater
  • Town of Stony Plain
  • Village of Thorsby
  • Village of Wabamun
  • Village of Warburg

View study area

Yes. The information gathered will help the cities, towns, and counties throughout the study area make growth plans and transportation plans for those communities in collaboration with the Capital Region Board and Alberta Transportation.

The City of Edmonton, the Capital Region Board, and Alberta Transportation have hired R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. to conduct the 2015 Edmonton & Region Household Travel Survey. With offices in Edmonton, Victoria, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax, Malatest & Associates is a professional research firm with extensive experience in conducting household travel surveys. If you receive a telephone call from Malatest's survey staff, the call will display "CityofEdmonton" or "Malatest" on your call display.

The Edmonton & Region Household Travel Survey was first conducted in 1994 and a second survey was conducted in 2005. There has been significant growth and change in Edmonton and the region since 2005.

About Participating

Questions in the survey focus on 3 areas:

  • Questions about the participant's household (number of people, number of vehicles, and so on)
  • Questions about the people living in the house (age, gender, do they drive, location of whether they go to work or school)
  • Specific travel questions (details of trips made over the course of 24 hours on an assigned weekday)

There are three steps to the survey:

1. Sign-Up for the Survey. Log in online here: Survey Login. Or, call the survey hotline at 780.652.2442. This is when you are asked initial questions about your household and the number of people in it. It takes 5 minutes to register.

2. Record your Travel. After you complete Step 1, we send you a one-page Travel Log for each person in your household, either by mail or e-mail. Carry the Travel Log with you on your assigned travel day, making note of where you went, how you got there, and your activities at each place.

3. Complete your Travel Survey. You can complete the demographic questions and report your travel information by logging in to the survey again online here: Survey Login. Or call the survey hotline at 780.652.2442 and give us the information over the phone.

Demographics questions will take 5-10 minutes per person depending on your household characteristics. Reporting your detailed trip data will take 10-20 minutes per person in your household, depending on the number of trips each person took and type of transportation used.

Yes, trips to and from school, sports, play dates, and other activities help us understand the full nature of how the transportation system is used, and how it can be improved to meet the needs of all users.

As children under the age of 5 usually travel with someone else in the household, we won’t ask you to detail their trips in a travel log. We’ll ask about their shared trips for other householders.

Providing precise information will mean the survey results will be more accurate.

There is a relationship between things like age, employment status, and income and peoples’ travel patterns (where, how, and why people travel). Information on your type of household helps planners understand and anticipate citizens’ different transportation needs.

Knowing your vehicle make, model, year, and fuel type, along with the distances you drive in your daily trips, will help planners forecast vehicle emissions for the region.

Getting to and from work or school is a common reason people travel. It is important to know how these types of trips relate to the travel choices people make so that planners can understand citizen’s transportation needs and their demands on the transportation system.

The survey may ask you very specific trip details, such as the cost of parking or transit fares; transit wait times; who you were travelling with; and your reasons for the trip. In some cases the questions may seem repetitive; however the survey has to capture the variations in people’s travel choices throughout the day.

The details collected allow transportation planners to verify assumptions on how people are getting around the region, what factors motivate their travel choices and to compare the data with what was collected in previous household travel surveys to see if travel habits have changed over time.

Information about origins and destinations allow us to improve routes and to provide travel options to get to in-demand destinations.

Thank you for your time and patience in taking this survey.

Studies have shown that more complete and better quality information is collected when a travel diary or travel log is used. When people are asked to recall what they did the day before, they will forget some events. Keeping your Travel Log with you will allow you to record each travel activity as it occurs and help to reduce the chance of forgetting any travel on your assigned travel day.

Your Travel Log will help you to enter your travel information in the online survey, or by phone interview. Once you have completed the travel survey online or by phone, you do not need to send us your travel log.

Most people are at home at 4 a.m., so we use this as a good starting point. We don’t expect you to get up at 4 a.m. to fill out the Travel Log. Simply begin recording in your Travel Log when you start your day.

A trip means you left one address location and arrived another (your destination). A trip can use more than one mode of transportation (for example, driving then taking the LRT).

For this study, a trip is one-way, so travelling to and from work would be two separate trips.

When answering "Where did you go to next?", consider the following:

Separate Destinations

  • Gas station
  • Drive-thru
  • Coffee shop
  • Daycare/day home
  • Stop at ATM/Bank
  • Work
  • Children's school
  • Grocery store
  • Recreation centre

NOT Separate Destinations

Places used as part of a taking transit:

  • LRT station
  • Transit centre
  • Bus stop

Transfer places are NOT separate destinations unless you dropped someone off there or picked them up there.

Stopping at a gas station, a drive-through, a coffee shop is considered a trip to a separate destination.

If you picked someone up (or dropped them off), driving to the place you picked them up (or dropped them off) is also a trip to a separate destination.

Transit stops aren't usually new destinations in themselves – they are part of trips to eventual destinations (unless you work at the transit centre or have business there other than waiting for transit).

Those residents who do not travel on the survey day are just as important as those who do. It is also important to include travel that is not typical. Whatever you did on your assigned travel day is what we need to know. Your answers will help build a picture the local travel patterns of the population as a whole, including all kinds of variations.

1. You will need the Survey ID given to you in your letter or survey invitation card in order to log in.

2. When you first register online, you will complete the a household questionnaire, then schedule your assigned Travel Day. You can then download the Travel Log form for use on your travel day, or ask us to send it to you by mail.

3. After your Travel Day, you then log in again. At this time you can fill out some demographic information about the people in your household, and report your trips. (If you want to get a head-start on the demographics you can log any time after you signed up, and do those in advance).

Your data is saved each time you hit the Previous or Continue button. If you are interrupted when you are doing any part of the survey online you can pause and come back to it at any time!

The sign-up and household questions take about 5-10 minutes. After your assigned travel day, the demographics and travel sections will take about 5-15 minutes per person in your household. If you want to get a head-start on the demographics, you can do it in advance of your assigned travel day.

We really appreciate your commitment to helping out with the survey. The data you provide is so important.

You will know that you have contributed to vitally important research study. The last survey was conducted ten years ago and much has changed since then, so your contribution makes a difference!

Also, as a way of saying “thank you”, Malatest & Associates is providing a prize draw for a return flight for four to anywhere in North America, an iPad, a pair of NHL tickets, family recreation passes, or a gift certificate to a local merchant. Odds of winning a prize are about 1 in 90. Prize draw info.

Certain population groups may also receive special survey invitations with other incentives.

Your Privacy

We take your privacy very seriously. All information you provide will be kept entirely confidential and will only be used to represent the travel patterns in your community. This survey information is being collected under the authority of section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Alberta). Your personal information is collected by a private consultation R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd., acting on behalf of the City of Edmonton.

Your identity or specific location will not be revealed. For any telephone interviews, professional, screened interviewers enter survey responses into a highly secure computer system. There is limited access to the response once entered, even for the interviewers themselves. Participants who do the survey online are provided with their own secure Survey ID for login. Once the survey is submitted, the results are stored securely and cannot be accessed by anyone over the Internet. The information from a given household is combined with other responses from the participant’s area and is processed in such a way that no personal information can be identified in any public reporting of the survey results. Your personal information will only be collected, used, accessed, disclosed or destroyed in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

For More Information

For assistance with the survey, or any questions about the survey process, please contact the research firm, Malatest & Associates:

E-mail: MakingTracks2015@malatest.com Survey hotline: 780.652.2442