The National Travel Survey is the most important research that illustrates the changes in people's mobility needs and habits in Finland. National travel surveys have been carried out every sixth year since 1974. The data collection for surveys between 1974 and 1992 was done by questionnaires. The latest two data collections for the surveys have been done by telephone interviews. The next survey will be carried out in spring 2010.
The purpose of this preliminary study has been to survey the needs and opportunities to develop the Finnish national travel survey. The goal has been to provide background information for the elaboration and preparation of the tender documents of the national travel survey 2010–2011.
Recommendations for the future travel survey are based on experiences gathered from utilisation of the previous surveys. The purpose has been to improve the contents of the survey without decreasing the comparability to the earlier surveys.
The pre-study addresses the possibilities to increase the co-operation between the national travel survey and other surveys measuring the travel patterns directly or indirectly in order to combine databases of different surveys more easily. The travel habits of Finns is in the future recommended to be mainly collected in the national travel survey every fifth year. The national travel survey is recommended to cover the daily trips and background information about the household and living and residential environment. Information about long trips and trips abroad are suggested to be collected in the continuous Finnish Travel Survey of Statistics Finland. Information concerning foreign visitors’ trips in Finland is collected in the Border Interview Survey of Statistics Finland.
The database of the national travel survey is recommended to be complemented by an internet-based continuous panel survey with a much smaller sample than the national travel survey. In addition, the general view of travel habits in Finland is complemented by regional surveys, like metropolitan area travel surveys. The continuous Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland offers possibilities to collect information about the development of commuting trips.
The travel demand dataset is in the future recommended to be connected to GIS data of household and individual background information explaining the factors affecting the travel behaviour (e.g. monitoring system of urban form, database of Finnish Vehicle Administration, GIS information of place of residence and workplace location, digital road network) and other inquiries providing relevant background information, like Residents’ Barometer of the Ministry of Environment, time use surveys of Statistics Finland and surveys of health among Finnish elderly people by the National Public Health Institute.