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Travel Surveys
Sunday, Feb 22, 2015
Help Implement Abu Dhabi’s Future Transport Plan
Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport Plans Major Travel Surveys
Background Information
Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport is about  to launch comprehensive series of travel surveys across the whole Emirate. The population and level of economic development of Abu Dhabi is forecast to increase substantially, and better transport is essential in order to secure long term investment, economic competitiveness, and a higher quality of environment for all its residents. The proposed travel surveys will form the backbone of the DoT planning process.
Purpose of Surveys
In order to plan for the future it is essential to find out what people’s existing travel patterns are: where people travel to, for what reason, and by what means.  For future planning, it is also important to know how travel patterns vary between different types of household.  
This information will be used to update DoT’s Strategic Transport Evaluation and Assessment Model STEAM which is the official travel demand model for Abu Dhabi Emirate. The model is used on a very wide range of transportation studies for projects worth billions of dirham such as the Metro, LRT and highway that are under assessment by the DoT as well studies undertaken by external agencies and their consultants. The model provides a forecasting tool to identify demand for transport for future years and required infrastructure to support this demand. 
The surveys are being undertaken as the first phase of the 2015 update of the official Travel Demand Model STEAM endorsed by the Executive Council. The survey programme will be completed by consultant AECOM together with professional survey companies on behalf of the Department of Transport. The surveyors/interviewers will be briefed, trained and equipped. They will all carry identification and a letter of authority from the Department of Transport. For the household travel surveys, it is proposed to request the assistance of the neighbourhood police department to facilitate responses.
When will the Surveys Take Place?
The surveys will be carried out from Beginning of March till End of May.  Only a sample of residents and visitors will be interviewed for each type of survey proposed.
Types of Survey
There will be a range of survey techniques used.  The most important survey will be interviews with a random sample of Abu Dhabi’s residents.  Over 27000 surveys will be done collectively of which 6,000 surveys will be in homes, with family members.  Appointments will be made and the surveys will be done at a time when it is convenient, for example in the evening.  Other surveys will be done with passengers at the Airport, Shopping Malls, and major business centers.  These surveys will be done with the co-operation of the management of these facilities.  Passengers on Abu Dhabi’s buses will also be surveyed about their journeys on one day.  There will also be a small number of surveys of freight traffic which will take place at the roadside, for example near the Mina Zayed Port and Mussafa Industrial Area.  Finally, a sample of workers who live in Workers Residential cities will also be interviewed.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Survey staff will respect the privacy and culture of residents.  The surveys will not cause disruption to peoples’ daily lives.
All of the information collected will be kept securely and will be used only for the purpose of transport planning.  Information will be analysed at an aggregated level and information on individual households will not be retained.  The information provided by the public will not be shared with other government departments.
Further Information to Editors
If you have any questions about the conduct of any of the surveys, please email to  Travelsurveys@dot.abudhabi.ae
Q. When were the last surveys done in Abu Dhabi? 
A. The last major surveys were done in the year 2009 in connection with the development of the Abu Dhabi Strategic Travel Demand Model (STEAM)
Q. How long will the interviews take?  
A. The interviews at the Airport, Hotel and Business centres will take approximately 5 minutes.  
The roadside interviews and public transport interviews will take 1 minute.  
The Labour Camp will take approximately 15 minutes
The Household Interviews will take approximately 15 minutes per household member.
Q. Why are personal details required in household interviews?
A. This is because we can relate the trip making characteristics of a household to the size of the household, the age structure, and car ownership.  As the population changes, it is possible to use the relationships between household characteristics and the amount of travel made to forecast future travel demand.  We can then plan the right investments in the right place, and with sufficient capacity to meet this demand.
Q. How will the confidentiality of the data be maintained?
A. All survey data will be stored as numeric codes, and not as names and addresses.  For analytical purposes, the data will be aggregated into household categories.  The outputs will be trip rates per type of household, not per individual household.  The Department of Transport gives an assurance that the data will not be used for any other purpose than transport planning, and will not be shared with any other Government Department.
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