The Institut Paris Region is looking for 4,000 volunteers to participate in a week-long study about public transport in the Ile-de-France region, beginning in mid-October.
Participants will be asked to carry around a small GPS tracker to record all their journeys, even short ones such as walking to the local boulangerie.
The aim of the study is to get a better understanding of how people in the region get about, and how that has changed since the beginning of the Covid pandemic over two years ago. It will also provide information on how best to improve public transport and it can be made more eco-friendly.
Ile-de-France residents who are chosen to participate in the study will be given a €30 online voucher valid in several different shops or an equivalent €25 paper voucher.
When will the study take place?
The study will run between mid-October and mid-March 2023, excluding holiday periods. Each participant will only be involved for one week. They will be given the choice of three different weeks to participate.
What does the study involve?
Before the study, participants must fill out a short online questionnaire about their socio-economic background and travel habits.
During the study week, participants will be asked to carry around the small GPS tracker - which will weigh 65g - for seven consecutive days to chart all of their movements. This will include short-distance walks or longer travels by train or bus.
The GPS tracker has a battery life of 42 hours, so participants will have to charge it every two days. It will need around three hours to fully recharge.
It should be noted that the study aims to map travel habits in Ile-de-France, so do not sign up if you will not be in the region on the week the study is to take place.
Each day of the study the participant will have to fill out a logbook, which will involve answering three multi-choice questions – this can be done on paper or online.
At the end of the week, participants will send back the GPS tracker in a pre-paid envelope that they will be provided with.
They will also receive a short telephone call in which they will be asked about their travel movements that week or be asked to clear up anything that was not clear in their logbook or on the tracking data. This call will last around 15 minutes.
How can participants sign up?
You can sign up online at this link by filling out a short form. You will need to supply your postcode, the department you live in, your age bracket and your job status. This is to create a study group that is representative of the Ile-de-France population.
You will also be asked to provide your email address and/or phone number so that the Institut Paris Region can contact you.
You can also sign up for the study by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 01 77 49 77 44.
If you are selected for the study, you will be contacted by email or phone and explained the dates and details of the study week.
You will also receive a reminder a few days before your study begins with all the practical information.
What about the payment?
Participants will be eligible for a digital €30 voucher valid in several different shops or an equivalent €25 paper voucher.
To receive this, participants must remember to carry the tracker with them every day, fill out their logbook and safely return the tracker and the charger to Institut Paris Region.
How is the participants’ data protected?
The elements that will be tracked are the times of travel, places the participants go to and leave, the types of transport they use, why they are travelling – for example, for work, walking the dog, shopping, meeting friends, etc. and finally the distances that they travel.
The GPS tracking will be completely anonymous.
The Institut Paris Region states: “We have set up a programme to blur the first and last metres of each journey. This ensures full compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”
See the Institut Paris Region’s website for more information at this link.