Increasing non-response rate have been identified to be one of the most severe risks in travel surveys. In many countries traditional mail and telephone surveys suffer from low response rates. Internet survey can be seen as a means to reduce the non-response rates among the most typical non-response groups in telephone surveys: respondent’s telephone number cannot be found or respondent is not reached by phone. In addition, Internet survey offers many options to improve the response rate and quality of data.
This paper analyzes regional travel diary data collected with mixed modes – Internet survey, telephone interviews and mail survey. The regional travel survey data was collected in Oulu Region in Finland in 2009.
Internet and mail surveys represent active survey modes as participation requires respondent’s initiative. Telephone interview is a passive survey mode, as the respondent does not have to take any other initiative to participate than accept the call. The results show that respondents making no trips on their research day are less likely to choose active survey modes and prefer passive mode in the form of telephone interview.
Offering Internet survey as an alternative to telephone interviews increased the response rate especially among respondents aged 25–55. Internet and mail survey respondents had reported more trips than telephone respondents in all age groups. As the modes of survey attract different types of individuals, the characteristics of non-response vary according to the survey mode. The quality of data in Internet survey was high compared to other survey modes.
The paper was presented at the poster session Emerging Methods and Developments in Travel Surveys at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on 23 January 2012. It is written by research manager Hanna Kalenoja, researcher Hanne Tiikkaja and professor Jarkko Rantala.