Exploratory Analysis of Weekend Activity Patterns in the San Francisco Bay Area, California

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, planning - surveys, land use - planning, ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting, ridership - demand, organisation - management


Weekends, Vehicle occupancy, Trip length, Trip chaining, Travel surveys, Travel patterns, Travel models (Travel demand), Travel distance, Travel demand, Travel behavior, Transportation planning, Transportation control measures, Smog control, Scenarios, San Francisco Bay Area, Recreational trips, Projections, Leisure time, Forecasting, Emission control, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel, Air quality management, Air pollution control, Activity patterns


Research on travel demand modeling has predominantly focused on weekday activity–travel patterns, with studying the effects of commute travel on peak period traffic congestion as a major objective. Few studies have examined the weekend activity–travel behavior of individuals. However, weekend travel volume has been increasing over time and is comparable to weekday travel volumes. Hence, weekend activity–travel patterns warrant careful attention in transportation planning. This paper focuses on presenting a comprehensive exploratory analysis of weekend activity–travel patterns and contrasting weekday and weekend activity participation characteristics. Data from the 2000 San Francisco Bay Area Travel Survey, California, are used in the analysis. A comparative analysis of several aggregate activity–travel characteristics indicates that, although weekday and weekend travel volumes are comparable, there are several key differences in activity–travel characteristics. Specifically, weekend activity–travel is predominantly leisure oriented and undertaken during the midday period. Average trip distances are longer on weekends. Transit shares are lower but occupancy levels in personal automobiles are higher on weekends. The weekend activity sequencing and trip-chaining characteristics explored in this study provide further insights into individuals’ activity organization patterns on weekend days. This paper highlights the importance of studying weekend activity–travel behavior for transportation planning and air-quality modeling. Insights from this exploratory analysis can form the basis for comprehensive weekend activity–travel modeling efforts.