The future direction of household travel surveys methods in Australia

Li Shen, Sherri Fields, Peter Stopher, Yun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Household Travel Surveys (HTS) are conducted in transport jurisdictions worldwide to provide data for transport modelling and planning. The HTS survey methods that have been used over the past five decades have ranged from face-to-face interviews to GPS/Smartphone surveys. In the past decade, data collection methods have been changing rapidly, alongside the rapid development of technology and the application of big data. In Australia, Household Travel Surveys have only been conducted at the State (Capital city) level, with the majority of states using face-to-face interviews or mail out/mail back methods, while Sydney recently adopted computer assisted personal interviews (CAPI). The aim of this paper is to use both the outcomes of the recent HTS review and an analysis of Opal smartcard data to provide direction for conducting surveys in Australia in the future. This paper reviews up-to-date national and local travel survey methodologies implemented worldwide in the past decade, in order to provide recommendations for improving HTS in Australia. These improvements include improving data quality and other methodological frameworks such as involving additional data sources while retaining the transport modelling requirements. The paper also undertakes a case study of Sydney CBD using data from Sydney’s Opal smartcard ticketing system to validate the results of public transport travel from the Sydney HTS against Opal data. The results show that there are some differences between train and bus on a typical weekday and also in certain time periods in the CBD, which suggests that HTS weights may need to be readjusted to correct the estimation. However, the distribution of train and bus trips during the day is not significantly different between Opal data and HTS estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event38th Australasian Transport Research Forum, ATRF 2016 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: Nov 16 2016Nov 18 2016


Conference38th Australasian Transport Research Forum, ATRF 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation


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