Is non-work travel excessive?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - commuting, ridership - commuting, mode - bus, mode - school bus


Trip purpose, Travel behavior, Spatial analysis, School buses, Optimization, Optimisation, Non-work trips, Commuting, Activity choices


This paper examines the potential and limitations of extending the excess commuting framework and its associated methods to the analysis of non-work travel. We identify several substantive considerations that differentiate work from non-work travel and point out how these issues impact the broader applicability of the excess commuting framework. The idea that people might optimize their behavior has had a long standing prominence as an applied and operational assumption, in that the classical central place models began with a "nearest" center assumption, though subsequent refinements in spatial interaction theory have allowed a much richer set of analyses. This paper touches on these concepts with reference to activity analysis, optimal multi-purpose tours, school bus travel and district design, and the notion of quasi-constrained behavior in Alonso's theory of movement.


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