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Residents asked to participate in travel survey for Greater Des Moines

As many as 12,000 households in Greater Des Moines will be invited to complete travel surveys this year to support the ongoing improvement of the region’s transportation network.

The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has partnered with the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a more localized, in-depth version of the National Household Travel Survey, which is being conducted nationally this year for the first time since 2009.

“No matter how you get around, we want to hear how you travel,” MPO Executive Director Todd Ashby said. “Your answers will provide valuable information to transportation planners and policy makers as they decide when, where and how to invest limited transportation funding to improve streets, transit, sidewalks, and bike lanes.”

The survey work will be conducted now through April 2017. Eligible participants are selected at random and notified by a letter in the mail. The local survey results will be used by the MPO to:

  • Help identify projects that improve access to jobs, schools, healthcare, and other important daily activities.
  • Help improve streets, public transit, sidewalks, and bicycle routes in the region.
  • Help make decisions about how and where to spend transportation dollars.

Conducted every five to seven years, the National Household Travel Survey provides an essential snapshot of transportation behaviors and trends by asking households how their members get around on one particular day. Participation is voluntary. Participants start by filling out a 10-minute survey and returning it in a prepaid envelope. Participants then receive travel logs to record where members of their household go on an assigned travel day. Then they provide the information online or by phone, a process that usually takes 20 to 25 minutes.

For more information on the National Household Travel Survey, please call or email the Des Moines Area MPO staff at 515-334-0075 or