Spatio-temporal travel patterns of elderly people – A comparative study based on buses usage in Qingdao, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - bus, ridership - old people, ridership - young people, technology - passenger information


Elderly, Spatio-temporal travel characteristics, Weekday and weekend, Trip network


With the increasing demographic shift towards a larger population of elderly, it is essential for policy makers and planners to have an understanding of travel characteristics of elderly and their difference with younger counterparts. Existing studies emphasize elderly's travel mode, travel frequency, travel distance, travel purpose and affecting factors, however, very few aim at comparing the spatio-temporal characteristics difference between weekday and weekend. In this paper, based on GPS data and Smart Card data of buses in Qingdao, the two cohorts' basic spatio-temporal travel patterns in aspects of travel distance, travel frequency and travel start time in weekday and weekend are compared. In addition, directed weighted networks of elderly's trips and younger people's trips in weekday and weekend are constructed for analyzing spatial characteristics. Results show that although the number of elderly experiences a reduction on weekend their travel frequency and travel distance show growth on weekend. In contrast with younger people, larger geospatial expansion of elderly's travel on weekend is observed. Elderly are found to prefer traveling in areas with high elderly people's residential density. Our study provides a deeper and nuanced understanding of elderly's spatio-temporal travel characteristics difference between weekday and weekend, so as to support better traffic policy making and the promotion on age-friendly public transport service.


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


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