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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

  • What is the purpose of the study?
    • The purpose of the study is to learn more about the daily travel patterns of residents in the South Sound region.
  • How will the study results be used?
    • The data will be used to provide local travel characteristics in models and other analysis tools to determine how to improve roads, reduce traffic congestion, improve walking and bicycle lanes and enhance public transportation in the area.
  • What is the South Sound region study area?
    • The South Sound region includes both the rural and urban areas of Thurston County as well as adjacent areas in Pierce County.
  • How was I selected to participate?
    • All invited households were randomly selected from a list of all residential addresses throughout the South Sound region.
  • Why should I participate?
    • Your responses will have a significant impact because yours is one of a small number of households invited to participate. Your input will help the South Sound region prioritize future transportation investments and shape policies.
  • My travel on my assigned day isn’t “typical” – should I still participate?
    • Yes. This study is about all types of trips and how residents make those trips. We want to hear from everyone in order to better understand transportation needs and prioritize future projects.
  • I don’t travel very much – should I still participate?
    • Yes. Even if you didn’t make any trips on your assigned travel date, that information is important for us to know.
  • How is my personal privacy protected?
    • All of your answers are strictly confidential. Your responses are grouped with the responses from all other participating households and will not be analyzed individually. A copy of this study’s privacy policy is available on the study website.
  • What will I get for participating?
    • Your household will receive an gift card after every person completes the survey.

Taking the Survey

  • What do I use the “Travel Log” for?
    • The “Travel Log” is a way to help you keep track of details of your trips. It takes just a few seconds after each trip to jot down the details so you can remember them later.
  • Why is my household assigned a specific travel date?
    • The goal of this study is to fully understand travel patterns and preferences throughout the South Sound region, and a first step is to understand all travel on a specific day. For many people their assigned travel date will be a normal day. For others, it will not be a typical day but we still need your participation. Just as all types of travel (walking, biking, transit, driving, etc.) are important, so are all types of days.
  • What is a trip?
    • A trip occurs anytime you change locations or addresses, even if only a short distance. You may make a trip by car, bus, bicycle, walking, rail, air or other means.
  • Can you share some example trips with me?
    • Yes. Here are some example trips for you to think about:
      • I commuted by bus from home to work 
      • I rode in my friend’s car on the way to the movies 
      • I drove to the grocery store to shop
      • I walked my children home from school 
      • I rode my bike to the Farmers Market
      • I walked to the deli for lunch My spouse dropped me off at the Park-and-Ride  to go to work
      • I carpooled to a meeting in Seattle

Often what we think of as one trip is actually two or more trips. For example, “I stopped to buy gas and a snack on my way home from work” counts as two trips – one trip from work to the gas station and another trip from the gas station to home.

  • Should my children participate?
    • Yes, trips to and from school, sports practice, play dates, and other activities help us understand the full nature of how the transportation system is used, and how it can be improved.
  • What is a household?
    • A household is any person or group of people who live in the same home. Everyone who lives in one dwelling unit and shares a kitchen is a part of a household.


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South Sound Travel Study Survey Participation - Participation in the South Sound Travel Study is easy and convenient.

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