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Trends in Urban Travel: Implications for Planning and Forecasting


Travel behaviour continues to evolve as a function of changes in demographics, economic conditions, urban form and the transportation system. How travel behaviour evolves can have important implications on urban transportation planning and investments. This evolution also influences policies, the choice of markets to be targeted for new initiatives and the achievement of progress towards goals such as sustainable transportation. Travel demand models also are impacted, as once-important determinants of travel behaviour are superseded by new influences. Ottawa-Gatineau’s TRANS Committee recently completed a study of trends in travel behaviour, as measured by its 1986, 1995 and 2005 regional household origin-destination travel surveys. The study developed several indicators of interest, from which the most significant trends were derived and then extrapolated over the long term. Based upon these, four key underlying influences or factors that explain changes in travel behaviour were identified. These were: 1. Shift of both population and employment from the inner areas to the suburbs and less dense areas. This was considered the primary influence on travel behaviour and mode choice. 2. Adjustment in the gender-based workforce and the resultant mode share distribution. 3. Decrease in trip rates per capita, especially for work trips. 4. Increase in the suburban transit mode share and in the CBD non-motorized mode share. Several implications for future model development and data collection were proposed.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
David Kriger
Rhys Wolff
Ahmad Subhani
Donald Cleghorn
Transportation planning