Skip to content



About the Long-Distance Survey

This study is about how Michigan residents travel to regional, statewide, national and international destinations. Long-distance trips (trips of 50+ miles) have different characteristics than everyday trips, and the Michigan Department of Transportation wants to understand how, where, and why residents make long distance trips.

For this study, a long-distance trip includes any trip where you travel more than 50 miles from your home (or from your most recent destination) and stop in a new area. Examples of long-distance trips include:

  • Drive from Grand Rapids to Traverse City
  • Ride a Greyhound bus from Lansing to Cincinnati
  • Fly from Detroit to Florida

If you travel to another city or region and then make short trips within the region (e.g., sightseeing in New York City), this counts as one long distance trip.

If you travel to another city or region in the morning, and then return home at the end of the day, this counts as 2 long distance trips (e.g., drive to Indianapolis to drop your child off at college and drive home in the evening).

If you make any brief stops, such as for gas or to make transfers (e.g., changing planes), those stops do not need to be recorded as separate trips; in those cases, record your origin location to your final destination as a single long-distance trip.

Long distance travel typically takes place less frequently and over a longer period than daily travel. Travel costs and transportation needs are also often different than for everyday trips. It is important to understand long distance travel needs to prioritize improvements to highways, airports, railways, and other regional, statewide, and interstate facilities.

The long-distance study is an additional, follow-up part of the MI Travel Counts survey. We encourage you to participate in this follow-up study to help us more fully understand Michigan’s transportation needs over time.

All adults in your household are invited to participate but not required. Children are not asked to participate.

Participants are asked to report their long distance travel activity for a six month period. It is important that participants report activity every month (even if you do not make long distance trips during some months).

If you rarely make long distance trips or even if you do not make any long trips at all during the study period, we still want to know this! It is important to understand how often residents make trips of 50+ miles, including if these trips are made very infrequently or not at all. If you do not make any long-distance trips, we will ask you to report that each month.

All adults who participate in the long-distance study will receive a gift card from Amazon, Walmart, or Visa at the end of the study. The gift card value will include $5 for each month that you complete and a $15 bonus if you complete all the months of the study. Additionally, a drawing will be held each month to give away another $50 gift card to a randomly selected participant.

How to Participate in the Long-Distance Survey

Use the new long distance study access code we emailed to register farMove on your smartphone. If you did not uninstall rMove after completing the previous Ohio Moves study, please do so before installing farMove. Download farMove for your iPhone or Android:

Please leave farMove on in the background and make sure Location Services (GPS) and WiFi are enabled before you start to make a long distance trip. When you make a long-distance trip, farMove will send you a short set of questions about that trip.

Once per month, we will also ask you to complete a one-minute online survey to ask if farMove missed any long-distance trips or to confirm that you did not make any long-distance trips.

The main ways the farMove app is different for the long-distance study (compared to rMove) are:

  • It only records a trip after you travel 50 miles from home.
  • It sends you a trip survey 4 hours after you have reached your destination.
  • It sends you a “daily summary” survey asking briefly about your overnight accommodations after you make a long distance trip. It does not ask a daily summary survey on days you do not make long distance trips.

These differences eliminate the need to record short trips or to complete surveys for short stops during your trip. Otherwise, your experience with farMove will be very similar to your experience with rMove.

The farMove app is designed to use much less battery and data. It does this by only recording trips when you travel more than 50 miles from home or from your previous destination. On days that you do not make long distance trips and while you are at your destination, the app runs in the background, using very little battery.

If farMove is enabled when you turn your phone off or put it in “airplane mode”, it will detect if you are more than 50 miles from home when you turn your phone or connection back on later. However, in order for the farMove app to accurately detect your travel, it is important that you enable WiFi and Location Services on your phone before you start a long-distance trip, and that you leave farMove on in the background.

After you make the same long-distance trip three times, farMove will stop asking you about that exact trip. Examples include long daily commutes or weekly trips to visit relatives in another town.


The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.