Investigating the influence of weather on public transit passenger’s travel behaviour: Empirical findings from Brisbane, Australia


Ming Wei

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, place - urban, technology - passenger information, technology - ticketing systems, ridership - behaviour, ridership - modelling


Weather, Travel behaviour, Stickiness, Transit smart card, Interaction effects


Drawing on transit smart card data allied with local weather station records over a 12-month period, this paper takes Brisbane, Australia as the study context and examines the way in which weather impose influences on public transit passenger’s travel behaviour. In terms of transit passenger’s spatiotemporal origin–destination (OD) information, a new travel behaviour indicator called stickiness is developed to reflect passenger’s travel similarity in using the transit service over a period. By applying a suite of regression models, it shows that weather’s effects on transit passenger’s travel behaviour vary by temporal period and passenger type. In general, weather is shown to exert a stronger effect on passenger’s stickiness during midday off-peak hours in comparison with either AM peak or PM peak. Across all types of passengers, child passengers are found to be most tolerant to weather changes and even be stickier to their regular travel pattern during AM peak. The modelling results also reveal that when it relates to journey-to-work or journey-to-school, weather’s effects on alighting location are much smaller than other three OD-related travel behaviour features (i.e., boarding time, boarding location, and alighting time). In contrast with the postponement during AM peak, transit passengers are prone to bring forward their trip back home during PM peak in response to poor weather conditions. Moreover, this paper verifies that weather parameters are not singly perceived by transit passengers but as an interrelated unity in shaping transit passenger’s travel behaviour. By enriching the weather–travel behaviour scholarship, the empirical findings of this study are helpful to render a holistic understanding of the weather–travel behaviour relationship and have important implications for transit operators in building a more weather-resilient transit system.


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


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