Analysing mobility demand leads more and more research to take behaviour patterns in to account. One of the most serious approaches is activity-based models. The main idea in this promising line of thought is to view traffic not as a standalone phenomenon, obeying its own logic, but rather as a derived effect of activity patterns. Yet, most of the models (with rare exceptions like Mobidrive) are built on the paradigm that mobility is essentially linked to work and there-fore exhibits daily cycles.
The weekly patterns in behaviour and mobility project (BMW) is to work on two complementary views of weekly mobility: the longitudinal disaggregate behavioural aspects over the week and the transversal aggregate measure of traffic for each successive day of the same week. The objectives are to:
• collect data to validate the project view that weekly cycles are important in the household mobility decision;
• propose a descriptive analysis of the resulting weekly activity patterns and their impact on day to day variations in travel demand;
• reconcile these variations with observed variations measured in the field;
• enrich both activity-based demand models and dynamic origin/destination traffic models to include weekly cycles;
• disseminate the obtained conclusions with special attention given to policy implications and readability for non-specialists.
The main idea is to consider two urban kernels between which travel is frequent and not restricted to a single purpose. A sample of individuals will then be selected in both kernels, and a specially designed survey were conducted over a week, in order to describe activity patterns over that week with a reasonable degree of accuracy. In parallel, traffic counts and travel times was measured between the two kernels during the same week, both on motorways and secondary roads.
This project was a first attempt to collect data about mobility behaviours over a week and has proved a fruitful source of data for all the Belgian research teams involved in mobility behaviours and transport demand topics. Moreover, the descriptive analyses achieved on these data sets have been of interest for Belgian policy planners and decision makers. They have demonstrated the importance of taking into account the weekly rhythms in mobility behaviours for sustainable transport policies.
A workshop broadly open to not only the scientific community but also the administrations and organisations involved in Belgian mobility policies was organised at the end of the project.