Exploratory study of alternative trip data collection methods

The use of smartphone technology is the most promising alternative for collecting data for large-scale national travel surveys, such as the OViN. As expected, it delivers higher quality trip data, compared to current collection methods (surveys). The other collection methods studied (smartcards, data- and call-traffic, social media, and GPS-loggers) are less suitable for diverse reasons; for example, they cannot provide for the information need, or they are extremely expensive.

At present however using smartphones in the OViN remains a bridge too far. This is primarily due to practical issues, as well as the fact that data cannot be collected under all conditions and in all situations. Because only people who have smartphones can participate in the research, alternatives must be offered to those who cannot or will not respond using smartphones. Moreover, a specific app must be developed for each type of smartphone, which can significantly increase costs compared to current collection methods.  

These are the key conclusions from the report Exploratory study of alternative trip data collection methods. This research was conducted in the context of the Netherlands National Travel Survey (OViN), in which KiM collaborates with Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and Rijkswaterstaat. Although the OViN is the focal point of this report, the findings are also important for comparable national travel surveys.