Welcome to My Daily Travel

Your participation means better Chicago-area transportation

Take the Survey

Enter your PIN to start the survey or pick up where you left off.

8 character code (e.g., A2B5C7D3)

Lost your PIN? Request that it be emailed to you. If you prefer to take the survey by telephone interview, please call the toll-free hotline at 1-855-981-7286.

About the Survey

My Daily Travel is a survey carefully designed to collect data and feedback to help improve the future of transportation in our region.

The information survey participants provide will indicate how roads, public transportation, bike lanes, and sidewalks are used today, and how they can be improved to make travel better in the future.

My Daily Travel is sponsored by Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and is a part of a program conducted regularly. View information about the last time a similar survey was done.

Did you know?

…that YOUR opinions and travel habits could help shape the region's transportation system?

It's true! To plan for transportation improvements in metropolitan Chicago, it's important to understand people's opinions about key transportation challenges, as well as their daily experiences with travel in Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties in Illinois and Lake, LaPorte, and Porter counties in Indiana.

Survey News

Why Your Participation Matters

We need your input to help us spend our transportation dollars wisely.

Accurate information about how and when people get from place to place in our region will help ensure that transportation funds are spent where they are needed most.

You can make a difference.

Your travel information will help build a complete picture of local and region-wide transportation needs, so decision makers can effectively recommend where to make improvements.

You are important.

By taking part, you will represent your neighbors as well as other people who face similar challenges with their daily travel around the region.

Downloads

PDF file Travel Log One per person

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

  • A1What is My Daily Travel?
  • My Daily Travel is a primary source of data used by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) to identify existing deficiencies in the transportation system and to ensure your tax dollars are used wisely.

    This survey is conducted periodically by CMAP and NIRPC. (View information on the last survey results.) The current version of the survey is being conducted with 12,000 households across the Chicago metropolitan area, including households in Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties and 2,000 households in Northwestern Indiana in the Counties of Lake, LaPorte, and Porter. In Indiana, randomly selected households are initially contacted by mail and asked to respond to a brief survey about their household. In Illinois, some households are contacted by mail and may use their PIN to join. All other residents of the nine Illinois counties can participate directly in the survey by following the invitation link they received. After enrolling, the next step asks households to keep track of the places they go for one day, and to provide details about each place.

    The data will be used to estimate how much travel is generated by all households in the Illinois counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties and Indiana Counties of Lake, LaPorte, and Porter.
  • A2Who is sponsoring this survey?
  • My Daily Travel is sponsored by CMAP and NIRPC. A major responsibility of these agencies includes analyzing the performance of the region's transportation system and distributing federal funds for project implementation. CMAP and NIRPC work closely with partner agencies to develop long-range transportation improvements that serve all parts of the region to the greatest extent possible.
  • A3How was My Daily Travel funded?
  • My Daily Travel was funded with federal planning and research funds. Funds in this pool are not eligible for road improvement projects. In other words, these funds must only be used to guide transportation investments.
  • A4Who is conducting this survey?
  • Westat (www.Westat.com) is an industry-leading survey research organization with over 50 years of experience designing and conducting research studies in a wide range of subject areas. They have 20 years of experience conducting national and regional transportation-related research. Their transportation survey team is responsible for administering My Daily Travel.
  • A6Why should I participate?
  • You have an opportunity to help your community. A survey of this type is typically conducted only once in a decade, at most, and sometimes even less frequently. By participating and recording your travel behavior, your household will be one of only a few thousand to represent the entire region. The information that your household and other households in the survey provide will help build a complete and accurate picture of regional and local transportation needs so that public funds for improvements can be spent where they are needed most.
  • A7Why did I receive an invitation in the mail to participate in the survey?
  • All Northwestern Indiana-region and some Chicago-region participants have been randomly selected from a list of residential addresses to ensure equal opportunities for participation across the region. Of these randomly selected households, all will be contacted first by mail and some may receive a follow-up contact by phone. Your household may have been chosen even if your telephone number is unlisted or is on a DoNotCall list. (Westat and other survey research organizations are exempt from DoNotCall lists as they are not a telemarketing firm and are not trying to sell anything. Westat is solely a survey research organization.) Everyone in the region has an equal chance of being selected to participate in the survey.
  • A8What is a “household”?
  • A household consists of an entire group of people who live in one dwelling unit and share a kitchen.
  • A9Why do you need to know information about the household?
  • The number, timing, and types of trips made are affected by the characteristics of the person and the household in which he or she lives. A person's age, gender, employment status, number of vehicles and household income all affect his or her travel decisions. This information is needed to make sure that we are collecting information from all kinds of households in the region.
  • A10Why are incentives part of the survey?
  • Surveys like these typically offer incentives out of respect for the value of the participants’ time. Additionally, research shows that far fewer people agree to take part in surveys when no incentive is offered. Often, the costs to conduct the survey are lower when a modest incentive is offered. We believe incentives are the best use of the survey budget in order to maximize the number of people willing to take part.
  • A5I heard we can earn money for our school. How does that work?
  • Yes! We are contacting every school district in the nine-county survey area through their central office. If the district administration approves, they will send out customized links to invite families and neighbors to join the survey. The use of that custom link will mark each survey as “belonging” to that district so that incentives for completed surveys can be tallied accordingly. Note: this is only available for CMAP survey participants.
    • If you want your participation to help your district, you must use the custom URL they provided.
    • If your district is interested and hasn’t been contacted by us yet, please get in touch with us (Contact Us) so we can facilitate your participation.
    • Interested PTA members or individual parents may also contact their administration to encourage them to take part in this program.
    • If your district is interested and has not yet received notice of the survey, please call the survey hotline, 1-855-981-7286.
  • A11Can I participate even if I did not receive a letter or postcard in the mail?
  • Yes! If you live in one of the Illinois counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, or Will, and are at least 18 years old, then you may join using the link provided where you first heard about the survey. If you didn’t receive a link and do not have a PIN, sign up here.

    If you live in Northwestern Indiana within Lake, LaPorte, or Porter County it is possible that your address has been selected to participate, but because we send out invitations over several months, you may have been selected but not yet notified by mail. To see if you have been selected, contact us with the information requested. If you are selected to participate, we will let you know how to join the survey.
  • A12What will be done with the data collected from the survey?
  • The data collected from the survey will be summarized to describe the travel behaviors of all households in the region. More specifically, information provided by all participants will be used to summarize the general activities people engage in, the means of travel used to get to these activities, where trips are coming from and going to, the extent to which trips are combined together (e.g., grouping together your errands), and the time of day trips are made.

    A publicly available dataset will also be developed from the information collected but it will not contain any personally identifiable information so your privacy will be protected. For more information about how the data will be protected, review the Privacy Statement.
  • A13How will my information be used?
  • The information you provide will be used to help improve roads, including walking and bicycling options throughout the Chicago region. For example, knowing where and how people travel helps determine which roads are used more than others and may need widening, and where sidewalks or bicycle lanes would be useful. The information is also used by air quality agencies to better understand how motorized travel contributes to vehicle emissions.

Taking the Survey

  • T1How long does the survey take?
  • Everyone's experience is a bit different, so the time needed to take the survey will vary. The number of people in your household, the number of trips made, and other factors determine the actual length of the survey.

    The first step is to sign up for a travel date and takes around 15 minutes. The second step is to tell us about the places you and the other members of your household went on your travel day. It takes about to 20 – 25 minutes, but varies based on the number of people in your household, the number of trips made, and other factors.
  • T2Will my information from the survey be available to the public?
  • No, your personal information will not be made available to the public. While key findings about travel behavior drawn from the survey will be combined with the information from all participating households and summarized, this information will be general in nature and will relate to regional transportation areas of interest. No identifying information will be shared. For example, statistics about transportation mode choices or peak travel times across day of week will be reported among many other regional and region-wide statistics. A publicly available dataset will also be developed from the information collected but it will not contain any personally identifiable information so your privacy will be protected.

    As required by law, your specific activities and travel patterns will remain confidential, as will any contact information you provide (your name, home address, phone number, email address, etc.). We will only use your contact information to conduct the survey, or to validate or confirm your survey data.
  • T3What if I don't feel comfortable answering some of the questions?
  • The My Daily Travel survey is voluntary. While some questions are required for participation, you may decline to answer any question. Your privacy will be respected. As required by law, any information that you provide through this survey will be kept confidential.
  • T4Will the information collected be useful for environmental purposes?
  • Yes. Improving air quality by reducing vehicle emissions is an important part of transportation planning and decision-making. The survey contains questions about how your household uses your vehicles during your assigned travel date, or other forms of transportation, including walking and biking. This information may help improve infrastructure that would support more non-motorized trips to reduce carbon emissions.
  • T5Why do you need to know when and where our children go to school?
  • A significant amount of travel is made by children going to and from school. Often, this affects the travel behaviors of their parents or caretakers, not only as it relates to school trips, but how they plan other trips like grocery shopping and running other errands. Knowing where children go to school and how they get there will help us better understand how other household trip-making is connected. Getting children to and from school safely is a priority in all transportation planning. No identifying information about your children will be made available to the public.
  • T6Why do you need to know my occupation or job?
  • A significant amount of travel is made by people going to and from work, and by people at work. We want to better understand what types of jobs generate travel.
  • T7What if out-of-the-ordinary events happen on the day I’m supposed to keep track of the places I go?
  • On any given day, many households across the region will have a “non-ordinary” travel day. But collectively, all these variations—less travel, more travel, and different-than-usual travel—balance out. So even if your assigned travel day is out-of-the-ordinary for you or someone else in your household, it is important that you report what actually occurred that day.
  • T8What if I travel out of the area or region on my assigned travel days?
  • You will be asked to use the travel logs just as if you were traveling within the region. However, if you know in advance that your ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD will not be in the region at all on your travel day, let us know (Contact Us) and we can try to reschedule your travel day. However, if only some members of your household are out of the region on your assigned travel date, we would still like to collect data from your household on the assigned travel date.
  • T9What if I don't go to many places?
  • Some people feel that just because all they do is visit a friend or go to the post office, this information is not important. In fact, these people, and those who do not go anywhere at all on their travel day, are just as important as someone who makes many trips. If we include only households that go a lot of places in the survey, we would over-represent daily trips in the region.

    The purpose of the survey is to get a complete and accurate picture of travel throughout the region. So even if you didn’t go anywhere on the day you were asked to report your trips, we would still like to know.
  • T10What if I don't drive a car?
  • We are interested in all the ways that people get around the region—whether you walk, use the bus, ride a bicycle, take a taxi, or drive a car, truck, or motorcycle. Even if you are homebound, we still want to make sure your household is included in the survey as it is equally as important as other households.

Contact Us

Survey Hotline

Have questions about participating in My Daily Travel or feedback about the DailyTravel mobile app?

Send us a message or call the toll-free hotline at:

1-855-981-7286

Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

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My Daily Travel is committed to respecting your privacy.

As required by law, any information obtained during this survey will be kept confidential. We do not sell any personal contact information. Your name and other identifying information will not be shared with anyone outside of the research team.

Information that you provide will be combined with information from other participants. Summarized results will be shared with the transportation planning stakeholders and the general public. The information will be used for planning and research purposes only. No personally identifiable information will be shared with the public in any datasets that are created.

We want you to feel secure in providing responses to our questions. Your decision to participate is voluntary and greatly appreciated. While some questions are required for participation, you may decline to answer any question.

For more information, contact us.

"Aerial view of Chicago" (Cook County) by Jason Helle from usa (IMG_2202) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area, Kendall County, Illinois, USA. Near the city of Yorkville. Loon Lake" (Kendall County) by IvoShandor [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

"Metra, Wheaton, Illinois" (DuPage County) by David Wilson from Oak Park, Illinois, USA (20150202 11 Metra, Wheaton, Illinois) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Woodstock Square Historic District" (McHenry County) by Ronincmc (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Buffered bike lane in Chicago, Illinois" (Cook County) by PeopleForBikes Foundation [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Waiting for rush hour commuters at Naperville station" (Cook County) by vxla from Chicago, US (Pace Bus No. 2682) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Hiking trail and Shabbona Lake, Shabbona Lake State Park" (DeKalb County) by Yinan Chen (www.goodfreephotos.com (gallery, image)) [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons

"New Madison Bike Lane" (Cook County) by Chicago Bicycle Program [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Waukegan, IL Downtown During the Holidays" (Lake County) by Richie Diesterheft from Chicago, IL, USA (Waukegan Downtown During the Holidays) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"An Orange Line train approaching Quincy in the Loop in downtown Chicago" (Cook County) by FTSKfan at English Wikipedia (Own work (FTSKfan at en.wikipedia)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

"Jefferson Street Bridge in Joliet, Illinois" (Will County) by Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States (US Route 30 - Illinois) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"St. Charles Municipal Building, St. Charles, IL" (Kane County) by Aneekr at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, Illinois, USA" by Fritz Geller-Grimm (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 or CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons