Innovation of the Dutch National Travel Survey; Definition of the New Design

Innovation of the Dutch National Travel Survey; Definition of the New Design


Ir. Remko Smit, Rijkswaterstaat, Dr. Elke Moons, Statistics Netherlands, Ir. Jan Van Der Waard, KiM Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis


Results of the 2015-2017 innovation programme for the Dutch NTS. The outline of the new NTS will be defined before summer 2016, and described in the paper.


Traditional travel surveys serve as the ‘backbone’ of many models, and source of overall insight in mobility and (developments in) travel behavior at regional / national level. It is to be expected that traditional surveys will continue to be an important source of information and explanation of (developments in) travel behavior.
Information from the NTS is basically used for three purposes:
1. Monitoring, requirements:
- Stable series over the years
- Low statistical margins
- Topics mostly known in advance
2. Explanation of trends and developments in travel behaviour
3. Strategic National and Regional models
For explanation and models a lot of background information of the respondents (age, gender, income etc..) is needed. These last two purposes have typically a broad scope, topics and required information in the survey are not always known in advance.

NTS are complex, and costly. Given the fact that survey costs grow by approximately 3 times the inflation an innovation program was started to innovate the Dutch NTS.

The Dutch NTS has been a continuous travel survey starting 1978. Since then it has run with some changes and with a varying annual sample. The sample of the NTS that will be run for 2015-2017 will be 35.000 net respondents per year.
Parallel to the 2015-2017 contract Rijkswaterstaat, Statistics Netherlands and KiM are conducting an innovation program. The innovation program will define a new design of the Dutch NTS that will be implemented in 2018. The aim is to get better control on the costs of the survey whilst maintaining its quality.
The innovation program has three stages. In 2015 a broad exploration was conducted both directed to improving the current design as well as investigating radical new possibilities like big data applications and new data collection techniques. In 2016 the research focuses on the most promising approaches that emerged from the 2015 research. In 2017 the new design will be tested with the ambition to implement the full-scale new design in 2018.
The 2015 research concluded that a more or less traditional personal travel diary survey will stay to be the core of a new NTS. Some new data collection techniques may be incorporated in this new survey. This was concluded based on the results of a work program consisting of 8 topics (Non-Response analysis, Stakeholder analysis, Test incentives, Big data, Data collection methods, PT chipcard data, Small Area Estimators, Relation OViN-Mobiliteitspanel).
In 2016 the research will focus on Data collection techniques (also use of GPS loggers, Smart Phone), Respondent approach and Questionnaire design. Next to that also trend modelling in combination with techniques for Small Domain Estimators and use of PT chip card will be investigated.
The aim is to define the outline for the new design for the Dutch NTS by July 2016, in order to be ready for actual implementation from January 2018.
The paper will describe the progress of the innovation program, and how research, conducted between January 2015 and July 2016 led to the outline of the renewed design. Furthermore it will describe which further steps will be made in order to implement the innovated Dutch NTS by January 2018.


Association for European Transport