The following list provides answers to frequently asked questions about the survey.
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Why was I selected?

Your household was randomly selected to be included in the survey. Your age, household size and the region in which you live determine the population groups you are representative for. For this reason, your answers are so important for us. If you do not take part in the survey, other people like you will not be represented. In order to collect reliable data on people’s transport behaviour it is very important that all selected households participate in the survey.
The information you provide will be used to make decisions in transport planning in Germany.

Who will see my answers and data?

Your data are provided with a number. It is not possible with your data to track you as a person. Your answers are classified in categories according to type of urban or rural area and household type. The aim of this classification is to compare the travel behaviour in different types of urban areas or in urban and rural areas. The data are published in anonymous form with no names, addresses or any other information that may be used to track the respondents.

How will my data be used in the future?

The results help policy makers, transport companies and transport planners to make decisions about transport planning. First of all, the survey data are sent to TNS Infratest for anonymization. When this is done, the Institute for Transport Studies receives the anonymized data for analysis. The Institute for Transport Studies will carry out an analysis of the data addressing different aspects of mobility and will produce a report on the results. You will find all survey reports of the German Mobility Panel here. There is no data that could personally identify you. The entire process is strictly anonymous.

Are my answers of interest, given I am not interested in transport planning?

It is not the aim of this survey to collect expert opinions, but to learn about the everyday mobility in Germany. There is no right or wrong transport behaviour, but everyone including yourself probably has some expectations to a safe and reliable transport system. Information about your transport behaviour will influence future transport planning. Therefore, we are interested to learn for which purposes you choose a certain transport mode in order to shape the future transport planning according to your needs.

Are my answers of interest if I own no car or I don’t go anywhere much?

The survey wants to provide a broad picture of people’s travel behaviour. It is therefore important to collect information from all selected people regardless of how mobile they are. If only answers from people who make many trips were collected the results would not show the reality.

Can you give examples for the different trip purposes in the German Mobility Panel?

Survey participants can choose between these trip purposes:

Trip to work: commuting trips

Work related e.g., business trip to a client or to a conference

Trip to kindergarten / school / university

Shopping / running errands: e.g., grocery shopping, clothes shopping, car refueling

Leisure / hobby: e.g., go out for dinner, gym, stroll, visiting friends

Picking someone up / dropping someone off: pick up children at the kindergarten / at school, drive a neighbor to the hospital

Other private activities: e.g., trip to hairdresser, doctor, car repair shop, bank

Back home: Trip destination is a person’s own home

Other: survey participants can list other purposes

Why is it important that I participate for three consecutive years?

It is important for us that you participate in the survey not only in the first year but during all three years. Only then we can analyse the changes in participants’ travel behaviour. Your transport mode choice, for instance when deciding between the bicycle and another mode, may be influenced by the weather conditions the week of the survey. Also changes in your life like the birth of a child, retirement or a job change may cause changes in your travel behaviour. If you participate in the survey only one year you still help us to identify and to quantify trends in people’s transport behaviour, but we cannot analyse if and why you change your transport behaviour in the course of the time.

Why is my mobility surveyed in the course of one week?

Mobility behaviour changes from one day to the other. Firstly, weekend days are different from work days. Secondly, weekdays also differ from each other, so that the travel behaviour changes in the course of the week. If only one day were surveyed, it would not be possible to determine if mobility events during that day occur on a regular basis or if different transport means are chosen from day to day according to trip purposes and activities. Information like this can only be collected if respondents report their trips in the course of one week.

I am on holiday or on a business trip during the survey period. Should I report anyway?

Please also fill in the trip diary for the period in which you are on holiday or on a business trip. It is of utmost importance that you report all trips that you make at your travel destination, as these trips are also part of your mobility.

Why is the additional refuelling survey necessary?

The car is by far the most important transport mean in Germany. However, cars are not used consistently every day and by all households. To survey refuelling events and car mileage it is necessary to assess how intensively cars are used and how much fuel they consume in daily use. The repetition of the survey allows for an analysis of changes, both of the driver’s behaviour on of the car usage.