NYC Travel Diary and Training Pilot Study

This study will begin between:
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 two weeks. 


People with disabilities who live in New York City or travel in New York City at least 3 times a week, are age 18 or older, and have a smartphone (Android or iPhone) with a data plan meet the eligibility criteria for this study. Participants will be selected based on additional demographic criteria from a 5-minute screening survey.

Participant incentive

$100 for 4 study phases, plus individual mobility reports from your travel diary. See the “Payment for Participation” section below for a payment schedule. 

Projected enrollment

100 participants


If you are selected to participate, we will ask you to record your location history in Google Maps and take daily surveys for one week at 3 different times (together referred to as the “travel diary.”)

  • Take a preliminary 10 minute online survey about your your wellbeing, satisfaction with your home, employment experience, transportation behaviors and experiences, and use of information technology.
  • Install Google Maps and the PACO app on your smartphone and log in to both apps with an anonymous email address provided by the researchers. 
  • Turn on your location history in Google Maps, which will record your travel history, including place types, transportation modes, and time spent traveling. Correct any information that is inaccurate.
  • Join an experiment in the PACO app and complete a brief daily survey about your transportation behaviors and experiences for one week. 
  • Complete an online training which consists of 4 topic areas (accessible transportation options, navigation tips, financial supports for transportation, and disability rights and transportation). 
  • Complete a 5 minute online survey after the training session is complete. 
  • After the online training is complete, you will be asked to complete another travel diary for 1 week. 
  • Approximately 4 months later, you will be asked to complete another travel diary for 1 week and complete a 5 minute online survey.

Time Commitment

Your participation in this research study is expected to take 3-4 hours total over the course of six months (30 minutes for surveys at different times, 1.5-3 hours in total for 3 weeks of travel diaries, and 1 hour for the online training).

Potential Risks or Discomforts

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 form of personal identifiable information associated with your survey answers. You may have some discomfort or difficulty with using the mobile applications for the study. For help with any technical challenges, you can contact the Principal Investigator by email, [email protected], or by text or phone, 214-454-6298. 

Potential Benefits

You may learn more about your travel behaviors and how travel impacts your moods. The research may improve travel survey methods. Data collected may contribute to knowledge about missing supports and inequalities in transportation and may be used for advocacy purposes in the future. Your input on the training will help develop an informational resource to help other people with disabilities use public transportation in New York City. 

Payment for Participation

After receiving your consent to participate in the study, you will be asked to submit a form with your full name and mailing address. This information will not be stored with your location data or survey responses and will be used only for providing payments. You will be compensated $100 total for your participation in all phases of the study described above under the “Procedures” and “Time Commitment” sections above. You will receive $25 for completing each of three (3) 1-week travel diaries and accompanying surveys, and $25 for completing the online training. If you only complete some of the steps of the protocol, you will receive $4 for completing each 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. Payments will be made by check and sent to your preferred mailing address. Four (4) checks will be mailed within one week after each study phase is completed on this approximate timeline:

  • Phase 1
    – On-boarding: (10 minute survey, app installation, payment information)
    for selected participants beginning on November 11, 2019
    – 1-week travel diary: November 14, 2019 – November 20, 2019
  • Phase 2 (Online Training (1 hour), plus 5 minute survey):
    anytime between November 25, 2019 – December 4, 2019
  • Phase 3 (Second 1-week travel diary):
    December 5, 2019 – December 11, 2019
  • Phase 4 (Third 1-week travel diary, plus 5 minute survey): March 26, 2020 – April 1, 2020

Take the Screening Survey

New Information

You will be notified about any new information regarding this study that may affect your willingness to participate in a timely manner.


We will make our best efforts to maintain confidentiality of any information that is collected during this research study, and that can identify you. We will disclose this information only with your permission or as required by law. We will protect your confidentiality by maintaining secure data storage and collecting minimal personally identifiable information. The research team, authorized CUNY staff, and government agencies that oversee this type of research may have access to research data and records in order to monitor the research. Research records provided to authorized, non-CUNY individuals will not contain identifiable information about you. Publications and/or presentations that result from this study will not identify you or contain your identifiable information.

Participants’ Rights

Your participation in this research study is entirely voluntary. If you decide not to participate, there will be no penalty to you, and you will not lose any benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. You will be compensated for completion of each phase of the study, and you are welcome to end your participation at any time.  

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 PsychologyKristen 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