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Travel Behaviour Over Time


The Bureau of Transport Statistics of Transport for NSW has conducted an annual Household Travel Survey since 1997 and historically in 1991 and 1981 as a Home Interview Survey. This current year data enables the region to better understand how residents make decisions about whether, when, where, why, and how to travel. The historic data allows us to understand how changes to transportation networks (both transit, highway, and non-motorized), the use of land, and demographics and socioeconomics have affected travel behaviour. This research investigates changes in behaviour over time and space, examining in turn the effects of investment, development, and population change on behaviours for Sydney region as a whole and for areas within the region. This will inform planners and decision makers about the prospective effects of future changes to networks, land use, and demographics.


Professor David Levinson.

Research location

Civil Engineering

Program type



A core question in transport planning is the efficacy of new investments and services. Investments can be measured both in terms of the scale of the networks available (e.g. lane km of highway, density of streets, hours of transit service), as well as the network structure or patterns of those systems (the hierarchy of roads, the topology or connectivity of the network, the morphology or shape of the network). The pattern of transport networks may affect user's perception of investment in different ways, some investments may be perceived as shortening travel times more than others (e.g. circuitous routes or routes with many stops are perceived as longer than they actually are). Combining data from this survey of traveler's reported travel times with other sources will allow us to correlate reported and actual travel times and explore their differences, and their consequential effects on behaviour. For instance, using the longitudinal time series of the surveys, we can examine the association between proximity/access to transit services and transit use behaviour for both commute and personal trips. This research can examine the impact of transit investments on changes in travel behaviour, including increased transit trip frequency, mode shift, transit ridership, travel time savings, and trip lengths, controlling for land use and demographics.

Additional information

  • Use of research technique / methodology / technology
  • Potential topics of interest for the research opportunity
  • Current PHD and/or Masters topics
  • Eligibility criteria / candidate profile
  • Scholarship(s)  /  funding available

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2234

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