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MAG launches survey to understand travel patterns with phone app

The Maricopa Association of Governments is trying to forecast future transportation needs in the region. The first step is a public survey. 

Participants in the  Household Travel Survey will use a smartphone app to track their travel habits for a 24-hour period. That could be a drive to the grocery store, a light-rail commute to work, or any other trips out of the house.

"All modes of transportation are important," said Vladimir Livshits, MAG director of transportation technologies and services.

Livshits said the data collected provides critical information about travel patterns in the region, "including the places people go, the way they get there, the challenges they might have and much more."

In the coming months, MAG will mail postcard invitations to randomly selected households in Maricopa and Pinal counties. Organizers hope to engage about 5,000 households by the end of this year. Households that take part in the survey can earn up to $100.

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Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.