, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 143–160 | Cite as

Fatigue in long-duration travel diaries

  • K. W. Axhausen
  • M. Löchl
  • R. Schlich
  • T. Buhl
  • P. Widmer


This paper introduces a new long-duration travel diary survey undertaken in a small town and rural environment, which complements the existing urban Mobidrive survey of 1999. Policy-making is dominated by the 1-day view of the world provided by the usual diaries. Long-duration surveys can balance this by highlighting the strong intrapersonal variance in choices, modes used and other aspects of travel behaviour. They also allow us to gain an understanding of the activity space of the travellers. The new 2003 Thurgau data followed the protocol of the earlier study, but developed the set of questions further. These new questions concerned the social context of respondents as well as trip-related items, such as planning horizon of the activity, previous frequency of visits or the groups involved in the trip or activity. The descriptive and model-based analysis of the data showed that respondent fatigue is not an issue in either survey. Where significant deviations from a steady number of reported trips were found, they showed positive tendencies, i.e. learning. The skill accrued in the intensive round of contacts between respondent and interviewer is significant. Papers on travel diaries tend not to report interviewer effects, although their impacts are clearly discernable. The analysis shows that the four interviewers employed in this survey had a substantial effect on the number of reported trips.


Fatigue Mobidrive Switzerland Thurgau Travel behaviour 6-Week travel diary 


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The study was supported by a grant of the Swiss Department for Environment, Transport, Energy and Telecommunications, and was administered and initiated by the Swiss Association of Transport Engineers (SVI). This and the support and suggestions of the Advisory Group chaired by Dr. G. Abay are gratefully acknowledged. We are also grateful for the careful comments of the anonymous referees.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. W. Axhausen
    • 1
  • M. Löchl
    • 1
  • R. Schlich
    • 2
  • T. Buhl
    • 3
  • P. Widmer
    • 3
  1. 1.IVT, ETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.SBBBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Büro WidmerFrauenfeldSwitzerland

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