Sponsored by the Maricopa Association of Governments, or MAG, the MAG Travel Survey is an in-depth study
of the travel and activity patterns in Maricopa County and surrounding areas.
MAG is hoping to learn from 7,000 households where and how residents traveled over an assigned period of
two days by having them collect GPS travel data for two days.
To make sure we hear from a representative sample of the region's population, households
will be asked questions related to the characteristics of their household members and travel habits.
This information will provide a picture of the daily travel routines of residents in Maricopa County and
the surrounding area. Study findings will help transportation planners determine how to enhance public
transportation in the area, improve roads, reduce traffic congestion, and improve walking and bicycle
This project is sponsored by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG).
AG is a Council of Governments that serves as a forum for cities and towns to discuss issues affecting the region. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) works closely with all the local governments in the Valley to plan and build our regional transportation system, including freeways, streets, bus and rail, bike trails and sidewalks. That’s why it is important for us to have the best information possible about what projects are most needed or wanted. MAG regularly collects transportation data for the purposes of road, transit, and air quality planning.
WestGroup Research is a locally owned and operated market research firm headquartered in Phoenix since
1959. WestGroup has a proud history of working with key government and corporate entities in
Arizona and continues to provide world-class market research services to the clients in our home state,
but also serves a large national and international client base. Flexibility and responsiveness are
hallmarks of the WestGroup brand and are key reasons for its strong customer loyalty and high referral
rates. WestGroup has partnered with MAG on several research initiatives focused on strategic transit
planning in Arizona.
Mobile Market Monitor is a provider of automated mobile-based household travel surveys used by
transportation planners to obtain more accurate multi-day data about travel and activity patterns than
traditional surveys can provide. Their software is compatible with iPhone and Android smartphones. The company is based in Brookline, MA, with a technology
development center in Singapore.
The data collected will be used for transportation planning purposes only. Your data will not be
What will I be asked to do to participate in the travel survey?
Go to http://magtravelsurvey.org/ and click
on the "Household Registration” button to answer a few questions to determine if your household is
eligible to participate. If eligible, you will complete the registration process and select dates
to collect travel data for all household members age 6 and older. Next, your household will collect GPS
travel data for two days via a project specific smart phone application or by reporting travel information
in an online travel diary (if aged 6 to 15). The final step is to verify your travel and related activities
online or over the phone. Once all study requirements are satisfied, the incentive will be sent to you.
If you have questions on how to complete the household registration, please call 1-888-771-9188.
The survey is an important component in the regional transportation planning process and we need and
value your input. The MAG Travel Survey is critical for developing transportation policy based on
facts that can be trusted to guide transportation infrastructure investment decisions that directly
benefit you, your community and all area residents.
Who is being asked to participate in the survey?
To ensure participation from a representative sample of the area, households in your community and
throughout the Phoenix region are being invited to participate in a variety of ways. Some households
are being randomly selected to receive a post card invitation in the mail and others are volunteering
to participate. Due to the need for statistical accuracy and to ensure the population is accurately
represented, not all households who request to participate will be eligible. Eligibility will depend
on how many households with similar characteristics have already completed the study.
The information collected in this study is strictly confidential and secure. Data will be reported in combination with all participants for the sole purpose of regional transportation planning. The information is being used to understand commute patterns and other aspects of travel behavior in the region. The last travel survey was conducted in 2008, and an update is required to provide current data on the travel choices, preferences, and needs of the public. The data you provide will be statistically summarized to describe these travel patterns in a general way that represents all households in the region.
Why do you need to know information about the household?
Each person in a household tends to travel differently. A person's age, gender, employment, number of
vehicles and household income all affect his or her travel. This information is used to measure how
different groups of the population are served by the region's transportation system.
The initial registration will take approximately 15 minutes. The time required to complete the
remaining study activities depends upon the number of household members and their unique travel
during the study period. All household members ages 16 and older will passively collect GPS
travel data for the assigned two-day period and then verify the information collected by accessing
an online travel and activity diary. Travel information for children ages 6 to 15 will be entered
into an electronic form.
Travel is moving from one place to another, while activities are what you do while in a place. For
example, travel is driving from your house to the mall, while shopping is an activity you do once you
are at the mall.
One of the primary reasons for travel is to commute to and from work. Different occupations are
associated with different commuting patterns. As the location of businesses change over time, commuting
patterns will change. Understanding these associations will help transportation planners anticipate
these changes in commuting patterns.
Why do you need to know when and where our children go to school?
Like commuting, travel for school is another major reason for trips. Knowing this allows us to better
understand how families with school aged children are affected by the region's transportation system.
Will any of the information collected be useful for environmental purposes?
Yes. The study asks about the vehicle(s) your household has and how you use them during the travel
period. It is important to know what types of vehicles are being used to estimate fuel consumption and
emissions caused by daily travel patterns. Improving air quality by reducing vehicle emissions is an
important part of regional planning.
Will information from the survey be available to the public?
Combined information from all study participants will be released approximately one year after the close
of the study. No individual person or family data will ever be made available to the public.
What if I don't feel comfortable answering some of the questions?
We are required by law to adhere to strict confidentiality regulations for all the information collected
but, of course, you may decline to answer any question. Your privacy is respected and you do not need to
answer any question that makes you uncomfortable. However, declining to answer certain questions may
disqualify you from participation in the study or from receiving your incentive.
What if out-of-the-ordinary events happen during my assigned travel days that change my travel?
Every day, many households in the region have an out-of-the-ordinary travel day. This is important for
us to measure, because these differences balance out. Even if the assigned travel period turns out to
be out-of-the-ordinary for you or someone else in your household, it is important to complete the study.
If our study gathered only "normal" travel days, it would not give us an accurate picture of real travel
What if I travel out of the region during my assigned travel day?
The GPS Smartphone app will continue to collect your travel for the study, even out of our area.
It is expected that some portion of the population travels outside the region each day, and we are still
interested in this data.
We are interested in all types of travel. This includes travel by train, bus, walking, bicycle, car, and
truck or any other means you use to get around. We need data for all modes of travel during the study
You represent many people in the region who do not travel very much, and your data is just as important
to us as the data provided by people who travel more frequently.
Are there incentives for participating in the survey?
As a token of our appreciation, we are providing an incentive check to eligible households who complete
all study requirements. To be eligible for the incentive, the travel data for all household members age 6 and older must be collected and verified for the same two days.
All incentives will be paid in full upon successful completion of the study by the entire household.
There are no incentives for partial completion of the study.
iPhone users: Search MMMonitor in the App Store.
Android users: Search Mobile Market Monitor in Google Play/Play Store.
Prior to collecting your travel data with the app, you must SIGN IN to the app using a 8-digit
Participant Access Code (PAC). This code and the instructions for using it will be included in the
instructions you receive. You will enter this code in as both the user name and the password on the app
login screen. This is different from the PIN number you will enter to verify
data in your online travel and activity diary.
Once you begin collecting data, you will be able to view your data in the Activity Diary on the website
or on the smartphone app.
The app collects GPS travel data that is used by transportation planners to plan and improve
transportation in your area. This data is transmitted over a secure connection to our computers. You can
review this travel information in the Activity and Travel Diary at the website. You will add in
details of your travel and verify the information in the diary.
To collect full and accurate travel data, carry your mobile phone with the App downloaded with
you at all times.
How long should I run the app during the survey period?
The app should be kept running and your phone should be kept on continuously to avoid any gaps
in the data. However, should you need to discontinue the use of the application at some point during
your survey period, you may log out of the app using the "Logout" option under the Settings menu.
Please make sure that you log back into the app using your unique Participant Access Code (PAC) as soon as you can resume
Will the smartphone app affect my phone's battery?
Applications that use GPS tend to drain the battery faster than usual. We have worked to minimize the
battery usage as much as possible. However, it is possible that use of this app will drain the battery
faster than usual. If you typically use your phone a lot, you may need to charge your battery more than
once per day (and may want to carry a charger with you during your assigned travel days).
Otherwise, be sure to charge the battery at night or whenever you can. Upon completion of the study, you
may delete the app.
To see or manage the battery level settings within the app, go to Settings and then to Battery Limit,
where you can choose to have the app turn off automatically if it reaches a level of 10%, 20% or 30%. If
this happens, please be sure to recharge your battery as soon as possible in order to be able to
continue participating in the survey.
Can more than one user be registered or log in to the same account?
No, each participating household member must link his or her own app to their online account using their
PAC (Participant Access Code).
Can the application be used on more than one device?
It is best if you do not switch devices during the survey period. Only sign into the App on your
mobile phone, not on an iPad or tablet.
No, you do not need to have a data plan to run the app. The data plan is only used, if at all, to
transmit the collected data to our server. However, this data transmission can be done via Wi-Fi
instead. Within the app, go to Settings and then Sync, where you may
set the app to transmit your
collected data using one of 3 preferences:
Wi-Fi and Mobile Data Plan
Mobile Data Plan
If you do not have a data plan or prefer to only transmit data via Wi-Fi, set the Sync option to
How much of my data plan will the application use?
While the amount of data uploaded will vary depending on your phone model and travel patterns, on
average, the daily data usage is very small, ranging from 3.5-6 MB (megabytes). This represents less than
1% of either a monthly data plan of either 1GB (gigabyte) or 2GB
You may be automatically signed out of the app if your battery level becomes too low. We respect your
battery needs, and allow you to choose a battery level requirement in order to collect data. If the
threshold is met, the app will stop collecting data and sign you out. The app may also stop running if
you swipe the app closed on your phone. If either of these things happen, please be sure to sign back in
to the app as soon as possible. (To see or manage the battery level settings within the app, go to
Settings and then to Battery Limit, where you can choose to have the app turn off automatically if it
reaches a level of 10%, 20% or 30%.) For assistance at any time, contact the MAG Travel Survey Help Desk
online at MAGTravelSurvey.org, via email at MagTravelSurvey@AskArizona.com or call us at 602-707-0085.
Is information about where I live and where I go linked to my name?
No, there is no connection between your name and the information collected on theSmartphone App.
Your household is assigned a confidential ID number. The only time your name may be used is during
administration of the survey or incentive (for example, emailing instructions, mailing incentive check;
requesting technical assistance). Once administration is over, your name will be completely removed
from association with the provided data.
Your privacy is important to us. We will not actively monitor or track your behavior for the study
in any way. The Smartphone App passively collects data and only transmits information to secured,
protected and encrypted servers when connected to the Internet. To maintain the protection on your data,
you may only view your GPS data by using a confidential unique code. A trained Travel Study Coordinator
will only access your data in order to provide your household assistance to complete the study.
To completely protect your information, the Smartphone App uses an anonymous code to organize your data,
instead of your name or other personal information. Once your household completes the study requirements,
you simply delete the app.
When can I first see my travel information from my Smartphone app online?
You should be able to see your information by the end of your first day of travel, however sometimes it
can take longer. Please wait 24 hours and if you are still missing travel information, please email us
at MagTravelSurvey@AskArizona.com or
Why doesn't the GPS travel information match the exact routes that I travelled?
The GPS information will not always match your exact routes. This is not a problem as long as the location
of each stop is correct and the route is close to where you traveled. If the travel information is very
different from your actual travel, please call 602-707-0085 for assistance.
What if my travel information shows that I stopped at a location where I did not stop?
Sometimes when you are in one location for more than a minute or two, such as being stopped in traffic,
your travel information will show that you made a stop. If you see a short stop like this during your
travel, you can easily remove it by clicking on the gray X (delete stop) to the left of the stop. This
will delete this stop and combine the travel before and after the stop. Please be careful in deleting
any stops as this action cannot be undone. If you need assistance, please call our Help Desk at
602-707-0085 and we will assist you in deleting incorrect stops.
What do I do if my travel information is missing travel and/or a stop is missing?
Please call the Help Desk at 602-707-0085 and we will assist you in adding in any missing travel
details. It can be very difficult to create missing trips, so we encourage you to contact us rather than
trying to do this yourself.
What if I am having difficulty with the website (www.magtravelsurvey.org)?