CMAP 2012 Latino Travel Tracker Survey

Queta Rodriguez Bauer, MSC, ABC / Cultural Communications LLC / Chicago, U.S.


The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is the official regional planning organization for the seven northeastern Illinois counties. CMAP developed and now leads the implementation of GO TO 2040, metropolitan Chicago’s first comprehensive regional plan in more than 100 years. To address anticipated population growth of more than two million new residents, GO TO 2040 establishes coordinated strategies that help the region’s 284 communities address transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other quality-of-life issues.

In 2008 CMAP tried to survey the residents of this region, 15–20 percent of which self-identify as Latinos, in order to learn about their transportation needs. The survey, called Travel Tracker Survey, which tracked travel during a 24-hour day assigned randomly, had a satisfactory response among all communities except one segment of the Latino community. To ensure that the regional Latino population is adequately represented in travel planning efforts, CMAP decided to do the survey again, this time targeting only the particular segment of the Latino population that was not responsive. They were Latinos with larger household sizes and lower incomes, of lower ages and lower education levels—a segment that proved very hard to reach.

Hence, CMAP engaged NuStats (formerly PTV/Nustats) and Cultural Communications to provide assistance conducting the new survey and collecting the transit user data with better participation of Latino households. Based in Austin, Texas, NuStats, a transit research company, performed the data collection and analysis, and Cultural Communications drafted the communication strategy and completed the implementation.



Cultural Communications developed a theory that the very low response rate in the 2008 survey was due to a lack of trust on the part of the respondents about the information required from them.