Observing the rhythms of daily life: A six-week travel diary

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The recent shift in transport policy towards travel demand management has directed the attention of transport research towards the dynamic processes in travel behaviour; learning and change on the one hand and rhythms and routines on the other. Progress in the understanding of these processes requires from observation or self-reports data over long duration. The survey reported here provides for the first time in 30 years a data source which allows these issues to be addressed. The project Mobidrive, funded by the German ministry of Research and Education, conducted a six-week continuous travel diary with the aim of analysing the rhythms in the behaviour of the respondents. The paper describes the implementation of this travel diary survey, which was conducted in Karlsruhe and Halle, two German cities of about 270,000 inhabitants each, in the autumn of 1999. A total of 317 persons over 6 years of age in 139 households participated in the main study. The description covers the development of the forms, the design of the survey protocol, the screening experiences (including participation rates) and an assessment of the data quality in terms of item/unit non-response and reporting fatigue. The paper closes with an outlook for the analyses possible with the data set.




Axhausen, K. W., Zimmermann, A., Schönfelder, S., Rindsfüser, G., & Haupt, T. (2002). Observing the rhythms of daily life: A six-week travel diary. Transportation, 29(2), 95–124. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1014247822322

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