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Open Access Publications from the University of California

On the Structure of Weekly Activity/Travel Patterns

  • Author(s): Lee, Ming S.;
  • McNally, Michael G.
  • et al.

Understanding the process of activity scheduling is a critical prerequisite to an understanding changes in travel behavior. To examine this process, a web-based activity survey program, REACT!, was developed to collect household activity scheduling data. REACT! is unique in that it records the evolution of activity schedules from intentions to final outcomes for a multi-day period. This paper summarizes an investigation of the structure of activity/travel patterns based on a REACT! data set from a pilot study conducted in Irvine, California. The term structure refers to the outcome of a set of decisions facing individuals as they conduct their daily activities. At a minimum, structure can be interpreted as the sequence by which various activities enter one's daily activity scheduling process. Results of the empirical analyses show that activities of shorter duration were more likely to be opportunistically inserted in a schedule already anchored by longer duration counterparts. Additionally, analysis of tour structure reveals that many trip-chains were formed opportunistically. Travel time required to reach an activity was also positively related to the scheduling horizon for the activity, with more distant stops being planned earlier than closer locations.

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