Public transportation options that students and faculty use most could see improvements and investments following a new survey of the ASU community’s travel habits, University officials said.
The Maricopa Association of Governments, or MAG, and Valley Metro awarded a research project to the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment to collect data about the travel of students and faculty for the ASU Travel Survey.
Ram Pendyala, professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, said this survey is necessary to make transportation improvements.
“We are trying to get information about these travel patterns so we can determine the total travel demand,” said Pendyala.
This survey will bring attention to intercampus shuttles, parking, bike parking, sidewalks and other forms of transportation, Pendyala said. ASU Parking and Transit Services will look at the results to see where changes need to be made.
More than 12,000 students and faculty have already completed the online survey, Pendyala said.
He said he hopes to see even more participation.
“Having this type of data is critical for the future,” he said.
A previous travel survey was conducted in 2007 and allowed updates in MAG regional travel forecasting models.
Vladimir Livshits, the system analysis program manager at MAG, said it is important to conduct surveys periodically to allow improvements to be made based on a current data source.
“ASU is one of the main traffic generators that affects the whole regional travel,” Livshits said in an email.
Some students and faculty have expressed concern that the survey is intrusive and requires a lot of specific information, Pendyala said.
However, Pendyala said this is the information needed to accurately make changes to ridership.
All information that participants provide will remain confidential.
The survey will end April 25, and regional transportation planning decisions will be based on the detailed quantitative analysis, Livshits said.
Survey participants will also be entered into a contest to win one of two iPads to be awarded to a student and professor.
MAG and Valley Metro will donate the iPads and the winners will be notified by the week of May 7.
Journalism sophomore Ashton Hobbs said she hopes to see travel improvements made around ASU campuses as a result of the survey’s findings.
“It is important that they look at how students and faculty use transportation, and I am happy to participate in this study,” Hobbs said.
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