Toronto researchers develop app to collect travel data


Researchers at the University of Toronto (ON) launched a mobile application called City Logger that collects travel data to support planning and funding decisions.

The university has conducted transit surveys every five years since 1986 but, as researchers know, telephone-based surveys are vulnerable to gaps in people’s memories. “People tend to forget short trips,” said Eric Miller, professor of civil engineering and principal investigator for the project. “You ask them what they did and they say went to work and came home, but forgot about going for lunch,”

Miller and his team saw an opportunity to use smart phones to update the survey technology.

“Better data leads to better planning,” said Ahmadreza Imani, a postdoctoral researcher working on the project, in a blog post. “We have great survey data that goes back three decades, but as people’s habits change, our collection methods need to change with them.”

City Logger runs in the background to collect location and time data and will prompt users about trip purpose and mode. The new data will complement existing survey information, not replace it.

The Android version of the app was launched on October 2, and the iOS version will follow shortly. Link to full story in CBC News.

Image source: City Logger via Google Play