TRB 2016 Blue Ribbon Committee
16th National Transportation Planning Applications Conference

Continuous Regional Travel Behaviour Survey

Corresponding Author: Victor Gaspar, TransLink

Presented By: Ilan Elgar, TransLink


TransLink’s Regional Travel Behaviour Survey is a study of travel behaviour of Metro Vancouver residents over a 15-month (September 2013 to December 2014) period. The primary purpose of the study was to expand our knowledge of the seasonal nature of travel behaviour; the differences between weekday and weekend travel; and, the potential impact weather has on residents’ travel decisions. In addition, the study was designed to explore several alternative methods of data collection including the use of a longitudinal panel and the use of vehicle data loggers to capture actual vehicle use.

Peoples’ travel behaviour was captured through an online, two-day trip diary survey administered to a random sample of households over five waves. Each wave was roughly three-months in length. About 5,400 households participated in the 15-month study resulting in a total of 12,450 completed travel diaries.

Households surveyed in the first two waves of the study were invited to participate in three follow-up waves as part of a longitudinal panel. The purpose of this study component was to obtain more information about within-household variations in travel patterns by season as well as understand the trade-offs between the two data collection approaches (i.e., cross-sectional versus panel survey) in an applied setting.

Beyond the initial descriptive analysis, a multivariate analysis was used to explore the influence of seasonality, weather, and weekday/weekend on key transportation indicators such as daily trips per person, mode shares, trip purposes, and distances travelled, while controlling for other factors such as household characteristics and personal demographics.

The study also explored the use of OBD-II, GPS-enabled vehicle data loggers to measure the vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) by a sub-sample of households participating in the two fall waves of the study. The objective of the Logger Component of the study was to compare the trip rates and VKT recorded through the data loggers against the trip diary information for the same travel days, in order to potentially correct for any biases. The presentation will highlight some of the successes and challenges in using the technology to achieve those goals.


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