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Nature of Weekend Travel by Urban Households


In comparison to weekday travel in urban areas, very little is known about weekend travel behaviour. Knowledge of weekend behaviour is important for a number of purposes, including the prediction of weekend congestion – an emerging problem, especially in concentrated shopping districts. It is intuitively obvious that weekend travel is different than weekday travel. Weekends have a greater focus on shopping and leisure, with a lesser one on work and school journeys; heavier automobile usage but higher occupancies; and a mid-day peak rather than AM and PM peaks. However, there is little knowledge and no agreement on the size and scale of the differences between weekend and weekday travel behaviour. This paper presents some basic descriptions of weekend travel behaviour as revealed in a 2001 survey of household travel behaviour in Calgary and in a similar 2000 survey in the San Francisco Bay Area. Analysis and comparison of these descriptions show that the weekend patterns differ from the corresponding weekday patterns in ways that are consistent with expectations, with the weekends containing more discretionary travel (more HB Shop and HB Social / Recreational, less HB Work and HB School) higher auto occupancies (consistent with larger family groups travelling together) and less transit use. Further, the weekday patterns in the two areas are broadly similar, as are the weekend patterns, and the differences between the weekday and the weekend patterns seem greater than the differences between areas.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Hunt, J.D
McMillan, P
Stefan*, K
Atkins, D
Transportation planning