Exploring Spatial Variety in Patterns of Activity-Travel Behaviour: Initial Results from the Toronto Travel-Activity Panel Survey (TTAPS)

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, ridership - behaviour


Weeks, Weekends, Weekdays, Travel patterns, Travel behavior, Transportation modes, Toronto (Canada), Surveys, Spatial analysis, Modes, Activity choices


This paper uses data from the first wave of the Toronto Travel-Activity Panel Survey to examine the presence of spatial variety in activity-travel behavior. First, the extent to which individuals engage in spatially repetitive location choices during the course of a single week is explored. Area-based measures of geographical extent and activity dispersion are then used to expose differences in weekday-to-weekend and day-to-day activity-travel patterns. Examination of unclassified activities carried out over a one week period reveals a level of spatial repetition that does not materialize across activities classified by type, travel mode, and planning strategy. Spatial repetition is also found to be surprisingly similar across travel modes, despite the inherent spatial flexibility offered by the personal automobile. The results also reveal weekday-to-weekend, and day-to-day fluctuations in spatial properties of individual activity-travel behavior. The existence of a weekday-to-weekend differential in spatial behavior suggests that policies targeting weekday travel reduction could have little impact on travel associated with weekend activities. The findings from this study also cast doubt on the suitability of a short-run survey for capturing archetypal patterns of spatial behavior.