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Closer to the total? Long-distance travel of French mobile phone users

Janzen, M; Vanhoof, M; Smoreda, Z; Axhausen, KW; (2018) Closer to the total? Long-distance travel of French mobile phone users. Travel Behaviour and Society , 11 pp. 31-42. 10.1016/j.tbs.2017.12.001. Green open access

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Abstract

Analyzing long-distance travel demand has become increasingly relevant because the share of traffic induced by journeys related to remote activities which are not part of daily life is growing. In today’s mobile world, such journeys are responsible for almost 50 percent of all traffic. Traditionally, surveys have been used to gather data needed to analyze travel demand. Due to the high response burden and memory issues, respondents are known to underreport their number of long-distance journeys. The question of the actual number of long-distance journeys therefore remains unanswered without additional data sources. This paper is the first to quantify the underreporting of long-distance tour frequencies in travel diaries. We took a sample of mobile phone billing data covering five months and compared the observed long-distance travel with the results of a national travel survey covering the same period and the same country. The comparison shows that most of the estimates of the number of missing tours by researchers have thus been too low. Our work suggests that the actual number of longdistance journeys is twice as high as that reported in surveys. Two different causes of underreporting were identified. Firstly, soft refusers travelled long distances but reported no long-distance tours. Secondly, respondents underestimated their number of long-distance tours. Consequently, there is a need to use alternative data sources in order to gain better estimates of long-distance travel demand.

Type: Article
Title: Closer to the total? Long-distance travel of French mobile phone users
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.tbs.2017.12.001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tbs.2017.12.001
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/).
Keywords: Long-distance travel demand, Mobile phone data, Travel surveys, Soft refuse
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10066812
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