Impact of Weather, Activities, and Service Disruptions on Transportation Demand

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, mode - subway/metro, mode - taxi, mode - bike, mode - bus, ridership - behaviour, ridership - demand


transportation demand fluctuations, bikesharing, taxi, subway, bus.


This paper aims to estimate short-term transportation demand fluctuations because of events such as meteorological events, major activities, and subway service disruptions. Four different modes are analyzed and compared, being bikesharing, taxi, subway, and bus. Case study includes 3 years of transactional data on working days collected in Montreal, Canada. Generalized additive models (GAM) are developed for every mode. The dependent variable is the hourly number of trip departures from one subway station neighborhood. Independent variables are data from various events. Different models are calibrated for every subway station neighborhood to better understand spatial differences. Also, performance of GAM and autoregressive integrated moving average models are compared for prediction on different horizons. Results suggest that presence of rain decreases bikesharing, subway, and bus demand, while increasing taxi demand. In fact, after four consecutive hours of rain, bikesharing demand decreases by 28.0%, subway and bus demand decreases by 4.6%, while taxi increases by 13.9%. Wind is only found significant for bikesharing. Temperature is found significant for all four modes but has a larger effect on bikesharing and taxi. Moreover, demand increases significantly during subway service disruptions for the three alternative modes studied, especially for taxi, suggesting an increase in demand of 182% during disruptions of 1 h. Furthermore, activities influence demand for all four modes, but subway seems to be the most affected one. This method allows for a better understanding of travel behaviors and makes it possible to consider a more dynamic adaptation of the transportation service supply to match travel demand based on various events. This could lead to better co-planning of events and transportation service, for example by temporarily increasing subway frequency or changing the position of some bikesharing stations.


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