Travel Demand: Are All Days Created Equal?

Vibrant and energetic communities require a transportation system that is functional and effective on all days, and achieving this goal begins with an understanding of how travel patterns vary across all the days of the week.

Using two waves of two national-level travel and time-use surveys from the United States, Dr. Siva Srinivasan of the University of Florida and Dr. Xia Jin of Florida International University are examining how the participation rate, duration, time of day of shopping and socializing activities, travel, and the associated happiness and stress levels vary across the days of the week thought the STRIDE funded project titled "Towards a Holistic Understanding of Quality of Life: An Analysis of Activity-Travel Patterns on Non-Mid-Week Days" (STRIDE project number 2012-024S).

The researchers believe that the empirical findings from their study will help to identify which aspects of travel patterns might be missed or under-emphasized by the state-of-the-practice focus on a “typical mid-week day” (Tuesday – Thursday). For example, patterns of shopping and recreational trips need not be similar across the seven days of the week (or even similar across the five weekdays). Further people’s happiness and stress associated with travel also varies across the days of the week. (Image above: Variation of average happiness and stress (0=low and 6=high) associated with travel across the days of the week. The graph was generated using data from the American Time Use Survey and the Well Being Module.)

"Given the significant increase in the travel for non-work purposes, the study will contribute towards designing transportation systems that are efficient on all days and for all travel rather than being focused substantially on mid-week commutes," Dr. Srinivasan said.

For more information on this study, Contact Dr. Siva Srinivasan at siva@ce.ufl.edu or Dr. Xia Jin at xjin1@fiu.edu.