35,000 to help show way ahead in transport plans

Some 35,000 people will be polled as part of a HK$15 million Transport Department travel pattern survey to collect data for transport planning and to forecast traffic conditions.

The forecast will provide essential references for infrastructure planning and policy formulation so the transport system can better meet public needs.

The decennial travel characteristic survey will be the sixth in its 60-year history. Randomly selected households are to receive notification letters in batches starting from yesterday, with 180 survey officers to be employed.

The last survey was conducted in 2011. Of the 50,000 who got the letters, 35,000 agreed to be polled.

Deputy Commissioner for Transport Tony Yau Kwok-ting said that in the past 10 years, travel patterns have changed significantly amid the completion of many transport infrastructure projects and the rise of real-time traffic information dissemination.

The poll will be conducted through online questionnaires, telephone and face-to-face interviews, and each household member will spend 20 minutes finishing the poll.

Officers in blue uniforms will visit and assist in completing the survey if a household has not made an appointment for an interview or completed the online questionnaire a week after issuing the notification letter.

Two types of information will be collected, including households' daily trip information, such as times, transport modes used, interchange locations and destinations. The second type involves factors affecting travel characteristics and views on such issues as the use of cars, considerations in choosing transport modes and the elderly's opinions of transport services.

Personal information such as identification card numbers, names and dates of birth are not required.

Questions on how apps assist people in their commutes and how working from home affects travel habits will be included in the survey for the first time.

Assistant commissioner Leung Sai-ho said: "All information provided will be encrypted during transmission to a designated and protected server. The tablets to be used in the interviews will neither store nor retain any data. All the completed questionnaires will be destroyed upon completion of data analysis."

Leung also reminded participants to log into the official survey website by scanning the QR code in the notification letter to prevent any information leakage.

Data collection is expected to be completed by the end of the year, with preliminary data available by mid next year and the final report in the first half of 2024.