Institut für Verkehrsplanung und Transportsysteme, ETH Zürich
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Study of the stability and variability of mobility behaviour


ETH Zurich
Prof. Dr. Kay W. Axhausen
Institute for Transport Planning and Systems (IVT)
HIL F 31.3
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5
8093 Zurich

Tel: + 41 44 633 39 43
Fax: + 41 44 633 10 57




Partners of the IVT

büro widmer, Frauenfeld

IVT Staff

M. Löchl
K.W. Axhausen
S. Schönfelder


Strassenforschung UVEK


12.2002 - 06.2006


This report presents the results and methods used in the research project 2001/514 Untersuchung der Stabilität des Verkehrsverhaltens of the Swiss Association of Transport Engineer (SVI).

Within the project, a six week travel survey has been conducted among 230 persons from 99 households in Frauenfeld and the surrounding areas in Canton Thurgau from August until December 2003. The design built on the questionnaire used in the German project Mobidrive, but developed the set of questions further. All trip destinations of the survey have been geocoded. Moreover, route alternatives for private motorised transport and public transport have been calculated.

Moreover, the collected data has been compared with the National Travel Survey 2000 (Mikrozensus zum Verkehrsverhalten 2000), whereas differences in terms of sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents and particularly their travel behaviour couldn't be observed except for an higher proportion of GA and Halbtax ownership. For example, the average trip frequency per person and day is almost the same.

In order to check for possible fatigue effects of the amount of reported trips, several GLM (Generalised Linear Model) and poisson regression models have been estimated besides descriptive analysis. No fatigue effects could be observed in the data set.

The continuous support to the respondents and the increasing routine of the self responsible reporting of the respondents were consequently sufficient to restrain potential fatigue effects in the multi-week, longitudinal travel survey. Besides descriptive analysis of the data set, the focus has been on analysis of temporal stability and variability of travel behaviour by hazard models.

The analyses of the variability and of the rhythms as well as that of the innovation have revealed that travel behaviour is highly conditioned by habits and routines. Nevertheless, new trip destinations are added continuously, particularly for leisure travel. The majority of trips have been planned at least one or more days in advance. Moreover, it could be shown that the rhythms and therefore the temporal structure are partly dependent on the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents, although it is just one determinant within the demand structure. The activities themselves can be divided into groups with daily, bi-daily and weekly rhythms and without a temporal structure.

In addition, the spatial dimension and distribution of trip destinations as well as the extent of activity spaces over the reporting period has been analysed through confidence ellipses, a two-dimensional version of the well-known confidence interval, and kernel density estimates of activity density.

The data base generated within the project is an important prerequisite to better understand and model the complex connection of transport supply, activity planning and execution as well as destination, mode and route choice. With this knowledge it is possible to better assess the effects of measures, particularly those which have a direct impact on daily routines.

Final report


Further Information


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