One Week Travel Diary Study

This study will take place the week of:
Thursday, November 14, 2019 – Wednesday, November 20, 2019 and Wednesday, November 20, 2019 – Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Interested participants should have plans to travel within New York City on at least 3 days during one of these weeks. 


People who live in New York City or travel in New York City at least 3 days a week, are age 18 or older, and have a smartphone (Android or iPhone) with a data plan are eligible. Participants will be selected based on several demographic criteria from a 5-minute screening survey.

Participant incentive

$25 and an individual mobility report from your travel diary.

Projected enrollment

200 participants. An equal number of disabled and nondisabled participants will be selected.


If you are selected to participate in this study, we will ask you to ask you to:

  • Take a preliminary online survey about your your wellbeing and social activities, any disabilities you have, satisfaction with your home, employment experience, transportation behaviors and experiences, and use of information technology. (7-10 Minutes)
  • Install Google Maps on your smartphone and log in with an anonymous email address provided by the research team. (2-3 minutes)
  • Enable Location Services and turn on your Location History in Google Maps, which will record travel history, including place types and transportation modes. Create custom places for frequently-visited locations like home and work. (This step will happen several days before the travel diary week begins in order to accommodate possible technical challenges.) (5-7 minutes)
  • Install PACO app and Join an experiment. (1-2 minutes)
  • Correct Google Maps Timeline as needed and complete daily surveys about your transportation experiences for one week. (3-5 minutes per day)

Time Commitment

These steps will take between 40-60 minutes to complete over the course of 1-2 weeks.

Potential Risks or Discomfort

There are few potential risks or discomfort associated with this study. Privacy concerns are a related research risk, which is why an email address is the only personal identifiable information associated with your survey answers. To mitigate privacy concerns, you will receive an anonymous email address to use for location tracking in Google Maps and travel survey answers in PACO. Your demographic information will be anonymized before being connected with your location history and travel survey data. The PACO app has an option to audio record answers to open-ended questions, and you are free to do so if you find it easier to record your voice than to type responses. The audio will be transcribed or coded at a later date, and audio files will be discarded.

Payment for Participation

You will be compensated $25 for completion of the research protocol described above. If you only complete some of the steps of the protocol, you will receive $4 for completing the survey, plus $3 for each day of the travel diary (up to a total of $25). Travel diaries should be submitted even when you don’t make any trips. You will not be compensated for additional travel diary entries outside of the study period. If you are selected for the study, the Principal Investigator will ask you to complete a form with your full name and mailing address for payment purposes. This information will not be stored with your location data or survey responses. A check will be mailed to you within one week of completing the travel diary and you can expect to receive it before December 20, 2019

Participants’ Rights

If you have questions or need an alternative format of the survey (like a print version or to take the survey by phone), contact Jessica Murray at [email protected] or call 214-454-6298.

Take the Screening Survey

Questions, Comments or Concerns

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the research, you can talk to one of the following researchers:

Jessica Murray, Doctoral Student, Developmental Psychology
Kristen Gillespie-Lynch, Faculty Advisor, Professor Developmental Psychology

If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, or you have comments or concerns that you would like to discuss with someone other than the researchers, please call the CUNY Research Compliance Administrator at 646-664-8918 or email [email protected]. Alternately, you can write to:

CUNY Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
Attn: Research Compliance Administrator
205 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017