In Southeast Pennsylvania, survey results indicated that users of the SmarTraveler website were more likely to use the service again compared to users of the SmarTraveler telephone service.

19-22 May 2003
Philadelphia,Pennsylvania,United States

Summary Information

This study distributed 3,592 mailed surveys to a sampling of licensed drivers in 5 counties of the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The survey content addressed customer (or potential customer) awareness, usage and satisfaction regarding travel information services in the Philadelphia area and specifically internet and telephone services provided by SmarTraveler. The response rate was 31.3 percent (a total of 1,124 responses).

SmarTraveler Awareness (all respondents)

Of all respondents, only 13 percent were aware of SmarTraveler services before receiving the survey. Eighty-one percent of the respondents indicated they were not aware of SmarTraveler services before the survey, 3 percent did not know, and 3 percent did not indicate a response.

Individuals who were aware of SmarTraveler were asked to indicate how they became aware of the services. The largest percentage (42 percent) was by television news. Other means of exposure were: roadway signage (16 percent), radio advertisement (13 percent), word of mouth (13 percent), newspaper articles (7 percent), billboards (2 percent) and other (7 percent).

Travel Information (all respondents)

Respondents were asked to rate the usefulness of various travel information sources, types of travel information sought before traveling, and the importance of various travel information when en route. The responses were given on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being not important at all and 5 being extremely important. Commercial radio was rated the most useful of travel information sources with TV and dynamic message sign (DMS) also considered useful. Internet sites were rated 5th most useful of the ten media types in the survey, with cellular and standard telephone falling directly behind as 6th and 7th most useful. Respondents also indicated they are most likely to seek a map of the route and other route information before traveling and are least likely to seek dynamic traffic information such as construction information and alternate routes. Alternatively, while en route, respondents indicate information regarding congestion and construction is most important.

SmarTraveler Usage (respondents aware of SmarTraveler services prior to survey)

Of the respondents who were aware of SmarTraveler services prior to the survey, only 23.8 percent accessed the webpage services and 8.6 percent used the telephone service. For those respondents who access the webpage, 22.9 percent visit the site often before leaving for non-work trips, while 12.1 percent visit the site often before leaving the work place and 6.1 percent visit the site often before leaving for work. For those respondents who use the telephone service, 16.7 percent call the service often while traveling to work and 8.3 percent call the service often before leaving the work place.

SmarTraveler Service User-Perceived Benefits (users of SmarTraveler services prior to survey)

Respondents that indicated they had used either the SmarTraveler telephone or web services were asked to rate various service benefits perceived from the service. The scale used was 1-5 with 1 being strongly disagree and 5 being strongly agree. Users of the SmarTraveler telephone service agreed most strongly that the reports helped to reach their destination and agreed least with the statement that the reports saved them money. Users of the SmarTraveler internet service felt the greatest benefit was letting them know what to expect and also had the least agreement with the statement that the reports saved them money. Users of the internet service agreed more strongly than the telephone users that they would use the service again.


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Survey of Travel Information Use in Southeast Pennsylvania

Author: Hallinan, Mark, et al.

Published By: Paper presented at the 13th Annual ITS America Meeting. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Source Date: 19-22 May 2003


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Benefit ID: 2004-00280