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Applying an Activity-based Travel Diary Compared to a Trip-based Travel Diary in both a Central and an Outlying zone in Madrid. UPM Esther Madrigal Díez Andrés Monzón de Cáceres. NATIONAL LEVEL. Who is providing travel statistics in Spain. PUBLIC WORKS MINISTRY National Household

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Applying an Activity-based Travel Diary

Compared to a Trip-based Travel Diary in both a

Central and an Outlying zone in Madrid


Esther Madrigal Díez

Andrés Monzón de Cáceres

who is providing travel statistics in spain


Who is providing travel statistics in Spain


National Household

Travel Survey

(MOVILIA, 2000)


Census, 2001

Time Use survey, 2002-2003



17 regions in Spain

Mobility surveys for the whole region and for the cities in it

Each regions follows its own methodology

No comparability

In all of them very low

mobility rate (rearely above 2,6 )



Different methodologies mean no comparable results. Yet the range of values should be the same.

Two reasons for this values either this value is just a reflection of reality and, in Spain, mobility is much lower than in the countries taken as reference, or there are some methodological differences that are underestimating the trip rates.

Trip definition, disregards

trips on foot under ten minutes

for national household travel survey

and under five minutes for local surveys

Type of survey diary

used, (trip-based)


Diary design

Both diaries were arranged in two parts:

1) Socioeconomic questionnaire (same for both). One member of the household provide information about each of it members

2) Mobility questionnaire: each member of the household provide information about his own travel movements.

  • (TB)
  • (AB)

The sample

2 possible ways to compare the diaries:

Two-stage pilot survey

on the same sample,

first stage using the TB diary

and second with the AB

travel diary

Survey on two samples with

same characteristics per zone,

in a single stage,

each one with one diary.

To avoid "apprenticeship effect" and reluctance to participate (as respondents would have to repeat the mobility survey in a short space of time)

Sample size: 35 families per zone and procedure, representing a total of 140 families surveyed.

Sample frame: information available from the 2001 Population Census, updated via the municipal register, and telephone data currently available. Individuals above 4


Data collection procedure

Telephone contact 1

Survey fieldwork: over two weeks May 19-28, 2006.

Travel information related to one day form Monday to Thursday.

Each interviewer was to call a given set of households, always the same.

Participation figures:

Household visit 1

Telephone contact 2

Household visit 2


RESULTS. Immobiles and trip rates


The percentages of immobiles was very high. In no case did it fall below 20%, and was higher in zone C than in zone P.

This “no trips” reply is given as a soft refusal. In all likelihood, this is a consequence of the data collection method used, as this was only a pilot survey, and not properly publicised, so that a relatively high proportion of the population decided not to collaborate out of distrust. This phenomenon was more pronounced in zone C where more elderly people live alone and tend to be distrustful.

Trip rates

The average mobility rate obtained per AB travel diary proved in fact to be higher than the average obtained for the TB diary.

The trip rate obtained per TB diary led to believe that mobility was the same in zone C and zone P (2,29 against 2,21).

BUT when changing of diary a difference appeared between the two zones (3,59 in zone C against 2,83 in zone P). TB diary did not disregard a uniform mobility percentage for the entire environment; in the denser populated central areas highly representative percentages of the total real mobility could be being omitted.



An increase occurred in the daily mobility reporting as a result of the change in diary type used.

Trips tending not to be reported with the TB diary correspond to non-essential mobility and to trips corresponding to run-on travel movements.

BUT, the travel modes not reported in the TB diary corresponded to public transport in zone C and private vehicle in zone P the more a mode is used to travel, the more the respondent tends to forget it?


The results obtained point to the need to study a possible evolution in the household mobility surveys run in Spain towards an activity-based travel diary, in order to obtain more finely tuned mobility results.

This pilot survey was run on a local basis. In the event of wanting to extend this type of changes to a national survey, the possibility would need to be studied of replacing the household visit for data collection by a postal survey as a means of tackling the geographical dispersion of the sample in a more cost‑effective way.


Where and when

did I go?

How did I get there?

What was I doing?