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Delivering a first-rate transportation system for Seattle Scott Kubly, Director







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A survey is a research tool used to collect information about individuals (which is sometimes aggregated to provide information about groups). The purpose of conducting a survey is to develop an understanding of the knowledge and attitudes that motivate people to action or to understand the behaviors in which people engage. Surveys can also be used to learn about peoples preferences. Data obtained through surveys can help to inform project prioritization and program development, in order to ensure that such initiatives meet the needs of the people who will receive them.

For example, the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) is a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) effort sponsored by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to collect data on both long-distance and local travel by the American public. The joint survey gathers trip-related data such as mode of transportation, and the duration, distance and purpose of trip. It also gathers demographic, geographic, and economic data for analysis purposes. Policy makers, state DOTs, metropolitan planning organizations, industry professionals, and academic researchers use the data to gauge the extent and patterns of travel, to plan new investments, and to understand potential implications for the nations transportation infrastructure. BTS specifically targets data on the volumes and patterns of passenger transportation.

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