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Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) Household-Based Person Trip Survey, 1994 (ICPSR 34911)

Principal Investigator(s): Ehrmann, Burton, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments


The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the southeast region of Michigan. This region encompasses the counties of Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Livingston, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne (including the City of Detroit). Created in 1968, SEMCOG's planning responsibilities include the collection and maintenance of a comprehensive transportation, demographic, environmental, and economic development database for advancing regional policies and plans, and review and approval of applications for federal transportation funds. The 1994 survey was undertaken to provide SEMCOG with new travel behavior data to assist in updating the region's transportation models. This data collection includes socioeconomic, travel, and mobile source emissions models for projecting future patterns of development, travel, congestion, and air pollution. Information about household characteristics and travel was collected using a one-day, activity-focused diary and a separate household survey. In an activity diary, respondents were asked about each activity they undertook during the day. Travel was assessed as the process of getting from one activity to another. Therefore, the trips reported in this document were generated by pairing activities to form a trip origin and destination. Demographic information includes age, gender, number and age of children, school enrollment status, employment status, occupation, household income, and type of household dwelling.

Series: Metropolitan Travel Behavior Survey Series

Access Notes

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Study Description


Ehrmann, Burton. Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) Household-Based Person Trip Survey, 1994. ICPSR34911-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-12-16. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34911.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34911.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    carpools, commuting (travel), driving habits, households, public transportation, traffic, transportation, travel, vehicles

Smallest Geographic Unit:    Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ)

Geographic Coverage:    Detroit, Michigan, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1994-02-23--1994-06-10

Date of Collection:   

  • 1994-03-28--1994-06-10

Unit of Observation:    individual, household

Universe:    Households within the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments region which includes Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Livingston, St. Clair, and Washtenaw counties in Michigan and includes the City of Detroit.

Data Collection Notes:

Originally, the data were comprised of three data files: (1) a Household File, (2) a Person File, and (3) a Travel Characteristics File. These three files were combined into one data file provided to ICPSR.

There are date discrepancies between the data, the Original P.I. Documentation, and the dates provided by the P.I. when the collection was deposited to ICPSR. The dates indicated in the metadata fields "Time Periods and Time Frames" and "Collection Dates and Time Frames" are those provided to ICPSR when the collection was deposited. No additional information was provided.

For additional information regarding the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) Household-Based Person Trip Survey, please visit the Metropolitan Travel Survey Archive Web site and the SEMCOG Web site.


Study Purpose:    The primary objective of the household-based travel survey was to provide up-to-date information for re-estimating all components of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments regional travel model. A second objective of the survey was to collect reliable information on off-peak travel patterns, particularly non-work related travel, so that the travel activity during these periods could be better understood.

Study Design:   

The survey procedures were:

(1) Recruitment - Households were recruited using a computer-aided telephone interviewing system (CATI). Participating households were assigned a diary day that was the same day of the week as their telephone recruitment call. During the recruitment call, the characteristics of the household were collected, including household size, vehicles available, and geographic location, in order to place the household in the correct cell of the sampling matrix.

(2) Materials Mailing - For those households agreeing to participate, the survey team assembled a package containing: a cover letter from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments introducing the study; a fact sheet explaining the overall research effort; a household information form; a One-Day Diary for each member of the household five years of age or older; and a one dollar bill incentive per household.

(3) Reminder Call - The night before their assigned diary day, recruited households were telephoned to verify that they had received their package of materials, to remind them of the survey, and to answer questions.

(4) Retrieval Call - During the retrieval call, the household form and diary information data were collected for all members of the household. Since the calls were made using computer-aided telephone interviewing, the data were simultaneously entered into a database.

There are copies of instruments, telephone scripts, and survey expansion methodology in the Original P.I. Documentation section of the ICPSR Codebook.

Sample:    A stratified sample was used to conduct the survey. For additional information regarding sampling, please refer to the Original P.I. Documentation section of the ICPSR Codebook.

Time Method:    Cross-sectional

Weight:    The data are not weighted.

Mode of Data Collection:    computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI), mail questionnaire

Description of Variables:    Specifically, the questionnaire collected two types of data: census variables such as the number of persons per household, age, sex, employment status, occupation and income; and transportation related variables including trip origin and destination, trip purpose, travel time, mode of travel used, and vehicle occupancy.

Response Rates:    The response rate for the study was 21 percent.

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2013-12-16



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