This paper analyzes the main characteristics of travel behavior by the Arab minority community in Israel and discusses two issues related to household travel surveys: data collection among minorities and under-reporting of mid-day trips. Household travel surveys are generally designed and conducted for the majority population and, therefore, lack a proper accounting of minorities and miss many of their less-frequent trips. An alternative approach to conducting household surveys is presented, with the aim of improving data quality for transportation planning. The survey was designed for and conducted in three Arab towns in Israel. The main improvement of the survey involves better interaction between interviewer and interviewee, which should materialize into a relaxed environment that allows for obtaining detailed, reliable results within a reasonable amount of time. The results of the survey employing the alternative approach were compared to a sub-sample of the same towns taken from a regional survey conducted by the regional planning agency at the same time. The paper presents simple statistics on the main variables for each survey. Significant differences are found in the two data sets, mostly regarding the frequency of less frequent, non-home-based trips. A plausible explanation for these differences relates to the more detailed and improved data collected in the new survey.
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