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Bay Area Travel Study

The Bay Area Travel Study collects travel, demographic and vehicle information from Bay Area households every other year. Participants are chosen at random to represent all people in the region. The information collected helps MTC make transportation planning decisions.

MTC wants to hear about your daily transportation habits. How do you travel? How far do you go? How much does it cost? The goal is to get a complete picture of regional transportation patterns to better plan for future improvements.

Three Ways to Participate

Online Survey

Log on and use your personal code to take the survey online.

Telephone

Call us toll-free to complete the study at 1-888-730-2504.

By taking part in this study, you’ll help MTC understand how local roads, highways, public transportation, bike lanes and sidewalks are used today, and how they can be improved to make travel better in the future. Your input will have a big impact because only a limited number of households have been invited to participate in the survey.

The Bay Area Travel Study covers the nine-county Bay Area is sponsored by MTC, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Data for the study is being collected by MTC's consultant, Resource Systems Group, Inc.

Contact MTC

When you contact MTC, have your invitation access code available, if possible.

Email: TravelStudy@BayAreaMetro.gov
Phone: (888) 730-2504 Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. or Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, or leave a message with the best time and number for us to return your call.

Lost your access code?

If you have misplaced the invitation with your access code, please contact us and we can assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found below.

About the Study

What is this study all about?

MTC wants to learn how, when, where and why people travel in and around the Bay Area. We’re asking survey participants to log their travel to help us understand regional transportation patterns. By participating you can help MTC plan for future transportation improvements in your community.

Why should I participate?

Your participation ensures that households like yours are represented in Bay Area regional transportation plans. Your input has a big impact because only a limited number of households are invited to participate in the study.

How was I selected to participate?

Invited households were selected at random from the Bay Area region. (You must live within the Bay Area to qualify for an incentive/gift card.)

Can my household participate more than once?

No, your household may only complete the survey one time. If your household has completed the survey already, you will no longer be eligible to receive a gift card if you complete the survey again.

Who can participate in the survey and receive an incentive?

The survey is for legal residents of the United States, 18 years of age or older, who live in the Bay Area.

Employees, clients, contractors, directors and officers of Resource Systems Group, Inc. (the contractor administering this survey), and their immediate family members and people living in the same household with them are not eligible. Not all completed surveys will qualify for an incentive.

Any incentive will be delivered after the identity and address of the winner has been confirmed. Limit one incentive per household completing the web survey or limit one incentive per adult (18+) completing the smartphone survey.

No substitution, cash redemption, or transfer of an incentive is permitted. If an incentive cannot be awarded for any reason, RSG reserves the right to substitute an incentive of equal or greater value. All federal, state and local taxes and all other costs associated with acceptance or use of any incentive, other than the initial shipping or delivery of the incentive to the winner, are the sole responsibility of the receiver of the incentive.

In the unlikely event RSG suspects the surveys or incentive entry mechanism or both have been tampered with, the payment of incentives will be discontinued until the integrity of the process is restored. If possible, RSG will place a notice on the survey website regarding any suspension and resumption of the payment of incentives.

Completing the Study

How much time does it take to participate?

It takes about 10 minutes to sign up for the study. Once you sign up, we’ll give you instructions for logging your travel and completing the study. Households that log their travel for seven days in the smartphone app (rMove) will spend about 5-10 minutes each day reporting their travel. Households that log their travel online or over the phone will spend about 10 minutes per household member reporting their travel for one day.

What do I get for participating

You will receive a gift card once all members of your household have reported their travel and completed their surveys. If your household participates using the smartphone app (rMove) each participating adult will receive a gift card (e.g., a household with two adults receives two gift cards). Households that report their travel online or by calling in will receive a single gift card.

What if I don't travel much?

Any amount of travel (even if you don’t make any trips) will help us improve regional transportation planning. Don’t forget that short trips, such as walking the dog, count too.

What if my transportation habits during the study aren't my "typical" habits?

That’s no problem – we still encourage you to participate. We’ll also ask about your typical travel habits, how your travel has changed over the past year, and how you think you’ll travel in the future.

I was invited to use the study's smartphone app – rMove. How does it work?

After you download rMove and sign up, rMove will log your trips for 7 days while you go about your daily life. Each day, you’ll be asked to complete a short daily survey about your travel habits as well as a trip survey about each trip you make.

Study Results

How are the results of the survey used?

The survey results will help local and regional planners understand how day-to-day travel varies across the Bay Area. As technologies and the way people get around continue to change, the results of the survey will help local agencies propose practical transportation investments, produce competitive federal grant applications and prioritize the improvements that best fit regional needs.

Privacy

How is my personal privacy protected?

We are committed to protecting the confidentiality, integrity and security of your personal information. We take this responsibility seriously. Resource Systems Group, Inc.'s Privacy Policy is intended to help you understand how we collect and safeguard your information. To read the study’s full privacy documentation, read further down on this page.

Who is conducting the study?

The Bay Area Travel Study is being conducted on behalf of MTC, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority by Resource Systems Group, Inc. (RSG). RSG conducts market research on behalf of both public and private sector clients using software applications, smartphones, websites, surveys, computers, tablets and other means of collecting data (collectively, “Research Tools”). The data RSG collects is governed by this privacy policy.

In the event of a conflict between the terms of the Project-Specific Documentation on this page and the terms of RSG’s privacy policy, the terms in the Project-Specific Documentation here will govern.

What information is being collected?

RSG will need to collect and use certain personal information from you for this survey, including:

  • Travel information – for example, information about trips you make including precise locations, travel time and travel mode.
  • Demographics – for example, race, ethnicity and household income to ensure that the survey sample reflects the population of the study region.
  • Your household makeup – for example, who is in your household and your relationship to these household members including marital status and gender identity of you and your spouse/partner.
  • Contact information – for example, an email address or phone number for the purposes of sending survey reminders and distributing gift cards.
  • Computer settings – for example, screen size to optimize the survey for your device and your computer’s IP address and user agent string to identify your device when interacting with the survey.

RSG is committed to protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and security of your personal information. We will not disclose or share personal information we collect from you except as required by law or described in this Project-Specific Documentation and our privacy policy.

How will this data be used?

RSG and the survey sponsors will use your data to:

  • Understand regional travel patterns and behaviors.
  • Provide policy guidance for more sustainable transportation planning. 
  • Contact you about the status of your survey and provide support. 
  • Contact you to provide a financial incentive for completion (if applicable). 
  • Contact you for future additional transportation input (if applicable). 

Who do we share this data with?

RSG will only share the data we collect with:

  • Our client, MTC. MTC will only:
    • Enter into data sharing agreements with other regional government agencies who agree to the same data privacy protections as MTC.
      • These currently include San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).
    • Share data with educational institutions after they agree to data sharing agreements matching MTC privacy protections.
    • Anonymized data may be shared more broadly.

Additionally, we share your data with:

  • An email automation software provider to issue emails for this survey.
  • A call center to conduct survey support.
  • A printing firm to print and mail survey materials.
  • A gift card vendor to issue survey completion gift cards.

RSG’s privacy policy does not apply to the practices of companies that we do not own or control, or to individuals that we do not employ or manage. 

What financial incentives are offered for providing this information?

  • Upon your completion of the entirety of this survey, RSG will provide you a gift certificate valued at $10 to $35, depending on how you complete the research tool, the scarcity of information concerning your demographic group, and the priorities of the survey sponsors. This reward represents RSG’s good faith estimate of the value of your information to the survey sponsors, as calculated using:
    • Historical evidence regarding the value of data in similar surveys, and
    • The budget the client has given us for this project. 
  • Please see Section VIII of RSG's Privacy Policy for more information about RSG’s financial incentives.

Your participation is voluntary.

The parties above agree that the participants in each project are volunteers, offering their participation freely, without pressure or coercion, and without promise or expectation of compensation from RSG or MTC or agency partners.

You can change your mind.

You may remove your consent or exercise your data rights by submitting a Data Privacy Request through a secure system.