Development of a prototype time-use diary and application in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Peter R. Stopher, Chester G. Wilmot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Over the last 10 years, household travel surveys have evolved from travel or trip diaries to activity diaries and then to time-use diaries. In all previous diaries, whether trip, activity, or time-use, successive trips or activities have been collected in sequence and were assigned a sequence number, beginning with 1. In current research, a time-use diary was developed that collects data on both in-home and out-of-home activities, treats travel as another activity, but gets away from sequential numbering of activities through the day. The new time-use diary is designed to have respondents record their activities by indicating start and end times in a 24-h diary format, similar to ones used in sociological time-use research. The development of the survey instrument through testing and a focus group is described, and a description of the final diary format is provided. Also described are the results of a pilot and main survey in which households were recruited by telephone and then sent diaries in the mail. Completed diaries were returned by mail, with a number of reminder telephone calls made to increase the response rate. The pilot and main survey data are analyzed to show the detail of the activities obtained and the completeness of information that this format of diary produces. The results of this small sample survey are compared with those of a conventional travel diary survey, carried out in Baton Rouge about 2 years earlier, by using telephone recruitment, diary mail out, and computer-aided telephone interview retrieval of diary data. Results, such as the number of trips and activities per household and per person, are compared, as are the sociodemographics of the two samples. It is concluded that the day-planner diary format is a promising format that may provide better reporting of travel and activities than other diary formats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1768
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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