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MI Travel Counts

Pedestrians walking across a blue bridge in Grand Rapids.
Department of Transportation

MI Travel Counts

Did you know that your travel habits help shape Michigan's transportation system?

It's true. Your daily commutes to work from home and back, cross-state vacations, errands around town, even bike rides and walks and everything in between. Where you go, how you get there and what you do when you get there all shape the understanding of how Michigan’s transportation system is used and how it can be improved - now and in the future.

To plan for transportation improvements, we need to understand how you travel today. This survey is critical in helping improve the future of transportation for all of us. Help shape transportation in Michigan!

For information on the 2024-2025 MI Travel Counts survey, visit:

General questions/comments: Contact or 517-599-7274.

2024-2025 MI Travel Counts Survey Information

Randomly selected households across Michigan will receive a letter inviting them to participate in the survey. These households may also receive a follow-up postcard

Participants will be asked to go to answer demographic questions about their household and then asked to report their travel either through a smartphone application, online or by phone. Smartphone application users will report household travel for seven days while online or phone participants will report one day of travel.

MI Travel Counts Information

  • MI Travel Counts is a statewide survey of household travel for residents across the state of Michigan. It is one of many data collection tools used by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to measure local, regional and statewide travel and activity patterns. Survey results help transportation planners determine how to improve Michigan's transportation system now and over the next 20 years.

    In 2024 and 2025, MDOT, in partnership with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), is conducting the MI Travel Counts household travel survey to understand residents’ travel and how it has changed with the increase in remote work, online shopping, and use of newer travel modes such as e-scooters and ride-share services. RSG, a nationally known transportation market research firm, is conducting the survey on behalf of MDOT and SEMCOG.

    This study, which builds on the studies previously conducted in 2015, 2009 and 2004-2005, will help MDOT and local agencies prioritize transportation improvements to best fit Michigan's needs.

  • The first MI Travel Counts study was conducted in 2004 and 2005. MDOT conducted a second wave of MI Travel Counts in 2009 to help the department understand any changes in household travel since 2005. Then in 2015, MDOT and SEMCOG conducted a third wave of MI Travel Counts. The data from the 2015 survey has been analyzed and the final Methodology Report, Travel Characteristics Report, and Highlights document are now available to the right.

  • MDOT strives to create a safe, efficient and accessible transportation system that serves and connects people, communities and the economy. Understanding how Michiganders use transportation infrastructure is critical to this mission.

    Accurate information about how, when and why people get from place to place in Michigan helps build a complete picture of local and statewide transportation needs, so decision-makers can effectively recommend where to make improvements and helps ensure that transportation funds are spent where they are needed most.

    Smart investments in transportation based on the information provided by this survey will help achieve the state long-range transportation plan vision of a well-maintained and sustainably funded network where strategic investments are made in mobility options that improve quality of life, support public health and promote resiliency, which will in turn help achieve MDOT’s overall vision to provide people with a safe, future-driven, interconnected multimodal transportation network that ensures equitable options.

  • The survey results will help statewide and regional planners understand how day-to-day travel varies across the state. As technologies and the way people get around continue to evolve, the survey data and reports will help agencies propose practical transportation investments, produce competitive federal grant applications, and prioritize the improvements that best fit regional needs.

    The information provided will be used for planning, maintaining and improving our regional and state transportation system. This includes infrastructure such as freeways, highways, streets, sidewalks, and bike lanes, as well as services such as transit. Survey data are also used to better understand how motorized travel contributes to vehicle emissions.

    Michigan is required to update statewide and regional long-range transportation plans. This planning requirement affects how the state prioritizes and allocates limited funding available for transportation improvements to reduce congestion, improve safety and increase mobility options. The data collected in this study will be used to update the database of household travel behavior and to forecast travel needs into the future through travel demand modeling.

    Travel demand models are the tools used to estimate where future travel in Michigan will occur. These statistical models are built on the information collected from the Ml Travel Counts survey. The estimates gathered from these models are used as the basis for transportation planning, alternative analysis and setting priorities for future transportation investments. The information collected from the MI Travel Counts survey directly contributes to the selection and prioritization of Michigan transportation system improvements over the next 20 years.

  • Randomly selected households will be initially contacted by mail and asked to respond to a brief survey about their household, such as the number of people living in the home, vehicles available and other demographic questions. This information will ensure that all types of households are represented in the survey.

    Participating households will then be assigned a specific travel day or period, during which they are asked about all the locations they went, details of those trips including travel modes (e.g., walk, bike, drive, or transit), and the activities that replace the need to travel (e.g., food and package deliveries, working from home, caring for children at home).

    When the survey is complete, the data collected will be summarized to describe household travel in the state: the number of trips different types of households make; the general activities they engage in; the times, mode, and how far they travel to those activities; how likely travelers go to different the types of places; and the extent to which trips are combined (for example, grouping together errands), and used to estimate how much travel is generated by all households in Michigan.