Time use, travel behavior, and the rural–urban continuum: results from the Halifax STAR project

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - rural, place - urban, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting


travel behaviour, time use, rural, urban, commuting, travel mode


This paper considers variations in time-related aspects of travel behavior along the urban–rural continuum, using the four categories of inner city, suburbs, inner commuter belt (ICB), and outer commuter belt (OCB). It employs geo-coded and GPS-validated data from the STAR survey conducted in the county-sized regional municipality of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Many significant inter-zonal differences are identified, and most travel variables are characterized by progressive urban-to-rural gradients, with large differences between inner-city and outer-commuter values. A clear break between city and country is seldom evident, however. Inner-city residents make most trips, but have trips of shortest duration, and spend least time in travel. Residents of the commuter belts spend most time in travel, and have trips of longest duration. While long trips and much driving were expected in commuter zones, there are significantly fewer trips in the OCB, which we attribute to lack of need, lack of opportunities, and adjustments in discretionary behavior.


Permission to publish the abstract given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


Journal of Transport Geography Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09666923