Household Travel Surveys

The CRD conducts an Origin Destination Household Travel Survey every five or six years to help us understand the travel patterns of residents. The data is used by local governments and communities to inform decisions on future transportation options for the region.

2017 Survey FAQ

What are the key findings of the survey?

  • At a regional level, there is a notable percentage increase in active transportation and transit mode share.
  • The percentage of trips taken using active transportation and transit is coming closer to the Regional Growth Strategy target of 42% of all trips by 2038.
  • The increased use of active transportation and transit aligns with the regional trends identified in the 2016 census, and with data from travel surveys and census for many other mid to large sized regions across Canada.
  • The growth in overall trips is less than growth in population.
  • The number of discretionary trips has decreased.
  • Transit mode share has seen notable increases, which is bucking trends in other parts of Canada and the USA where transit ridership has plateaued or declined.
  • Jurisdictions with greater land-use density show the most notable increases in active transportation.

    Are there differences between different municipalities and sub-regions?

    Communities with more density have significantly fewer automobile trips and a correlating increase in walking and cycling. This is a local example of the international literature that indicates the best way to reduce car dependency is through land use planning and in particular, more compact communities. 

    What is the survey information used for and how will it benefit the region?

    The information collected is vital to micro and macro transportation, environmental and housing models used to inform planning, budgeting and infrastructure decisions across the region by both the CRD and its many partners.

    Furthermore, the survey data creates standardized measurements such as mode share at regional, sub-regional and local levels that can be used as performance indicators to monitor the success of planning and infrastructure decisions.

    The data from the survey can be used to build a case for grants from higher levels of government which are increasingly demanding data-supported applications. For example, it can be used in conjunction with localized count data to suggest / demonstrate that similar infrastructure improvements have led to increased uptake of active transportation and transit in specific areas.

    How many households were surveyed?

    In 2017, 7,159 households completed the survey, representing approximately 4.2% of the regional population.

    In 2011, 6,039 households completed the survey, representing approximately 3.5% of the regional population.


    Where is the study area?

    The survey captured areas within the boundaries of the Regional Planning Area and Salt Spring Island.

    When was the survey conducted?

    The survey was conducted in the Fall of 2017.

    Who conducted the survey?

    R.A Malatest, a Victoria-based company, conducted the OD survey in both 2017 and 2011. 2017 survey methods were adjusted to respond to administrative, societal and technological changes since 2011.

    What was the cost of the survey?

    The value of the contract with R.A Malatest and Associates, who conducted the survey, was $328,794.

    How will the survey information be used?

    The information collected is used as vital inputs into micro and macro transportation, environmental and housing models that are used to inform planning, budgeting and infrastructure decisions across the region by both the CRD and its many partners.

    Furthermore the survey data creates standardized measurements such as mode share at regional, sub-regional and local levels that can be used as performance indicators to assist in monitoring the success of planning and infrastructure decisions.

    The information collected will be used to plan improvements to roads, transit infrastructure and services, and pedestrian and cycling facilities.

    What changes to the methodology were made between the 2011 and 2017 survey?

    • The geography was altered to exclude portions of the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) which had previously been counted. CVRD staff declined the offer to participate in the survey this time.
    • A larger percentage of households were surveyed which provides for more robust data.
    • The survey introduced address-based targeting to reach cell phone only households which now make up a substantial proportion of households. Previous surveys had relied on phone directories as their contact base. Surveying cell phone only households has likely corrected an underrepresentation of active and transit mode share in 2011 and earlier surveys.
    • The age limit was reduced to 5 years from 11 years of age in keeping with general industry practice thus providing a greater school profile.
    • Respondents were able to complete the survey online via an individual login. Approximately 70% of surveys were completed online. .

      Why is the CRD collecting this type of data when it has no transportation service?

      The CRD is responsible for collecting and distributing the data to all of its partners. The OD Survey provides the most comprehensive level of transportation data for the region and its local municipalities. CRD staff work closely with our partners to provide the level of data they require for their planning and reporting purposes. This includes the creation of custom reports and working closely with academic institutions to apply the data to important transportation research at a local, sub-regional and regional scale.

      Many municipalities, BC Transit, BC Ferries, University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University and the South Island Prosperity Project are requesting the 2017 data. This data will inform decision making, reporting and planning for the next five to six years. Collecting this level of data at a municipal or sub-regional level would be cost-prohibitive and would be unlikely to provide the information necessary to inform decisions, particularly origins of travel and the identification of regional travel generators.

      The economies of scale of data collection at a regional level provides better value for money for tax payers. Collecting data on a regional scale also recognizes that residents travel across municipalities and electoral area boundaries which requires regional transportation data to inform local origin and destination studies.

      What type of data was collected?

      Residents were asked about their daily travel patterns for a typical Fall day. Questions included the number of trips taken, where they are taken, the origin, destination and mode of travel, and the time of day and purpose for each trip.

      Privacy protection

      All information provided will be strictly confidential and will not be shared with any other individual or organization, in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The identity of individuals will not be revealed to anyone.


      Further info

      For questions about the survey, contact Malatest’s survey hotline toll free at 1.855.319.2887.

      For information about CRD transportation research, call 250.360.3305.