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In search of a missing NTS Martin Lee-Gosselin Emeritus Professor, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada and Visiting Professor, Imperial College London.

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Presentation on theme: "In search of a missing NTS Martin Lee-Gosselin Emeritus Professor, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada and Visiting Professor, Imperial College London."— Presentation transcript:

1 In search of a missing NTS Martin Lee-Gosselin Emeritus Professor, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada and Visiting Professor, Imperial College London

2 Canada has no National Travel Survey that includes daily travel by all modes 2

3 A quick glance at America’s attic Canada is known as the country that is “50 miles high and 3,000 miles wide” (where most people live) Population: – 34 million in 2011, about 10% of that of the USA – overall about 80% urban, roughly similar to USA – New immigrants ≈ 2 million 1996-2006 (6.3% ’06 pop) – 94% of new immigrants settled in large urban areas compared to 68% of the total population ➾ the biggest conurbations are getting bigger 3

4 SOURCE: Statistics Canada: cited by Accessed 11 Jan 2012 4

5 Attic (2): government jurisdiction With tiny exceptions (such as roads in national parks), Canada’s road network is under provincial and municipal and not federal jurisdiction. Federal involvement in inter-provincial and international travel (mostly rail, air, marine), but it has declined in recent years. The demand for transport data from the national statistical agency is not affected by anything like the procedures in the USA for the administration of the Highway Trust Fund, even though substantial federal transfer funds do sometimes get used for transport infrastructure projects, but on a sporadic basis under mostly “one- off” appropriations. Total federal financial contribution to highway network projects only about 5% of total. 5

6 Main types of national travel data collection in Canada Today, in the context of passenger travel surveys, Canada, “National” primarily denotes: a)longer distance tourist flows b)(less conspicuously) daily Light Duty Vehicle (LDV) use from an accident exposure and energy efficiency perspective However, Census has questions on Commuting, and the federal “General Social Survey” has some on Time Use (both Statistics Canada) 6

7 National surveys of longer distance travel Canadian Travel Survey - CTS (Statistics Canada, 1979 – 2004), targeting out-of-town travel over 40 Kms one-way, or overnight stay – CTS was the the successor to a national survey for estimating city-to- city flows that was dropped in late 70s and then sponsorship taken over by the federal tourism agency Since 2004, the content of CTS has been provided by the Travel Survey of Residents of Canada, an add-on to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Canada LD travel surveys much used by provincial counterparts and the tourism industry; concerns about inter-city flows remain 7

8 National surveys of Light Duty Vehicle use National Driving Survey 1978/79 (RS) Fuel Consumption Survey 1980-1990 (EC) National Private Vehicle Use Survey 1994-1996 (EC) Canadian Vehicle Survey 1999-2010 (VKT+EC) Canadian Vehicle Use Survey starting 2011 using full-sample, temporary on-board instrumentation including GPS (VKT+EC) Policy drivers: RS = Road Safety/accident risk exposure EC = Energy Consumption VKT = Vehicle Kilometers of Travel 8

9 Provincial Travel-Related Surveys Little travel data collection undertaken at the provincial scale -- an interesting paradox given provincial jurisdiction over road systems But various provincial governments have got involved in funding and guiding metropolitan travel surveys Some very large hinterlands of major cities are covered (see map centred on Toronto) Also: – Provincial driver surveys for road risk analysis (Québec ‘85/’86 and ‘96/’97; Ontario ‘88 and ‘94) with some fusion of accident data – Some efforts re energy consumption by private vehicles 9

10 10 50 Kms

11 Municipal/Metropolitan travel surveys Most daily travel data in Canada is from municipal/metropolitan household surveys 11 metropolitan areas* with > 500K people: all have done a travel survey since 2005 and six were in 2011 Many smaller conurbations, mostly in the range 100K-500K, undertake periodic travel surveys * Largest to smallest: Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Québec, Winnipeg, Hamilton, London and Kitchener 11

12 Municipal/Metropolitan travel surveys (2) Methods: – Predominantly CATI, using minimal instruments and a single interviewee reporting on the whole household on very large samples – up to 5% of population (e.g., Montréal about 66,000 households and 160,000 people) – Very large samples favoured to construct reliable OD matrices and detailed transit mode and route choice models – contrast to typical MPO practice in USA – Concern about future of phone-based surveys 12

13 Is a Canadian NTS missed? Yes: a)Desire for fuller intercity travel picture b)No national data on daily travel by all modes c)Potential vehicle for some smaller urban regions with no travel data (buy oversample as in USA?) No: a)Policy drivers are not much aligned in favour b)Maybe there is an alternative way to see it…… 13

14 National Travel Survey or National Travel Data Strategy? 14

15 Potential vision of a national travel data strategy NB: this is a personal view: I have no current indication that such a strategy is seen as needed or desirable by an influential constituency of public and private interests The creation of a Canadian NTS should be considered as a complement to existing Travel Surveys – Need to sort out how best to go beyond TSRC’s remit of travel over 40 Kms OW/overnight to include daily travel by all modes – Suggest at least a two-day observation period for daily travel – Could be an expanded TSRC or a parallel survey – Implies resources to improve the reliability of data on long-distance travel – Should be more in-depth than the typical metropolitan/municipal survey – Potential to oversample small urban regions that have no TS now – An alternative might be a collaborative set of provincial-level TS 15

16 Potential vision of a national travel data strategy (2) The very-large-N metropolitan Travel Surveys would, for a the foreseeable future, be a critical component of a national strategy, and I expect that many planning agencies would see a NTS as an interesting counterpart to their own TS, offering more variables but at a much coarser granularity Collaboration would be a priority, especially over coordinated timing with metropolitan surveys (despite the opportunity that 6 major urban areas are on the same timetable, this not straightforward as surveys within a particular province may run on different schedules to optimise staffing) Content could be driven by the harmonisation of key indicators across provincial boundaries -- and even across the US/Canada border The single-mode Canadian Vehicle Use Survey, which instruments vehicles, also a key component 16

17 Potential vision of a national travel data strategy (3) Consider new technologies that may help address the challenges of surveys that currently rely on telephone interviews, especially those that promise long observation periods without excessive respondent burden Last but not least, if a NTS seems unrealistic, it is still worth looking for ways to make more from the whole of Canada’s unique travel survey resources than the sum of its parts Actions: – The Transportation Association of Canada is taking a lead in such a dialogue, with major input from the data users – Bring user groups into better contact with each other – TRB SR 304 from the USA should help point the way 17

18 Thank you – Merci

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