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If you travel in the midstate by plane, train or automobiles area planners want to hear from you.

Starting today, midstate transportation planners are using an online survey to collect data on where residents' travels start and stop. .

Area planners are hoping a new online survey will help them better understand how people travel about the region.

It aims to collect anonymous statistics on where people are traveling to and from, when they travel and some basic demographic information. The collected information will be used by the to figure out where to spend transportation funds and which projects to push.

I believe this study can go a long way in helping us plan our transportation future, said Jim Hertzler, a Cumberland County commissioner. One thing we know for certain every transportation dollar is precious. And this will help us channel those dollars.

The study is aimed at travelers and residents in Perry, Cumberland and Dauphin counties. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and is kind of fun. Behind the scenes, computers crunch the collected data, which in turn will feed into the region's long-term transportation plans.

Tim Reardon, the planning commission's executive director, said the data collected by the survey will start impacting transportation project planning almost immediately.

It the latest in a . In the past, similar surveys would have been conducted by mail or by volunteers stopping traffic and polling drivers.

To collect data from people without Internet access, Tri-County will have a mobile Internet kiosk that will travel to parts of Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties. Area libraries are also taking part in the program, as are the region's universities and colleges.

It helps put our limited transportation resources where they're needed, Readon said. Whether people are traveling by car, bus, bicycle, train or foot, it's important to have an accurate picture of how we're getting around.

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