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Understanding the Impacts of Weather and Climate Change on Travel Behaviour
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Transport Planning, Economics and Engineering. (Transport Systems)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6966-9077
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human behaviour produces massive greenhouse gas emissions, which trigger climate change and more unpredictable weather conditions. The fluctuation of daily weather corresponds to variations of everyday travel behaviour. This influence, although is less noticeable, can have a strong impact on the transport system. Specifically, the climate in Sweden is becoming warmer in the recent 10 years. However, it is largely unknown to what extent the change of travel behaviour would respond to the changing weather. Understanding these issues would help analysts and policy makers incorporate local weather and climate within our policy design and infrastructure management.

The thesis contains eight papers exploring the weather and climate impacts on individual travel behaviour, each addressing a subset of this topic. Paper I explores the weather impact on individual’s mode choice decisions. In paper II and III, individual’s daily activity time, number of trips/trip chains, travel time and mode shares are jointly modelled. The results highlight the importance of modelling activity-travel variables for different trip purposes respectively. Paper IV develops a namely nested multivariate Tobit model to model activity time allocation trade-offs. In paper V, the roles of weather on trip chaining complexity is explored. A thermal index is introduced to better approximate the effects of the thermal environment. In paper VI, the role of subjective weather perception is investigated. Results confirm that individuals with different socio-demographics would have different subjective weather perception even given similar weather conditions. Paper VII derives the marginal effects of weather variables on transport CO2 emissions. The findings show more CO2 emissions due to the warmer climate in the future. Paper VIII summaries the existing findings in relations between weather variability and travel behaviour, and critically assesses the methodological issues in previous studies. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 217 p.
Series
TRITA-TSC-PHD, 16-005
Keyword [en]
impacts of weather, climate change, travel survey, spatial heterogeneity, activity-travel pattern, weather perception, passenger transport CO2 emission
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187019ISBN: 978-91-87353-89-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-187019DiVA: diva2:928565
Public defence
2016-06-10, L1, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, Lantmäteri, våningsplan 3, KTH Campus, Stockholm, 11:05 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Understanding the complexity of changes of travelers’ activity-travel choices and related transport CO2 emissions due to the variation of weather and climate in Sweden (Centre för Transport Studie, projekt kod: 446)Understanding the impacts of weather and climate change on travel behavior (Centre för Transport Studie, projekt kod: 291)
Note

QC 20160516

Available from: 2016-05-16 Created: 2016-05-16 Last updated: 2016-05-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The influence of weather characteristics variability on individual's travel mode choice in different seasons and regions in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The influence of weather characteristics variability on individual's travel mode choice in different seasons and regions in Sweden
2015 (English)In: Transport Policy, ISSN 0967-070X, E-ISSN 1879-310X, Vol. 41, 147-158 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper investigates the influence of weather on the Swedish people's mode choice decision in different seasons and regions using a long term series of the Swedish National Transport Survey datasets (NTS) and weather data from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). The weather data includes mean of daily temperature, amount of rain precipitation and road surface condition. The daily mean temperature is normalised based on each region and season and classified into five categories as 'very cold', 'cold', 'normal', 'warm', and 'very warm'. This normalisation approach enables us to investigate the impact of individual's heterogeneity in perceiving regional and seasonal variability of temperature. The impacts of these weather indicators' variability on individual's mode choice is investigated with multinomial logit models. The results show that the impacts of weather differ in different seasons and different regions. Pedestrians' perception of variation of temperature differs between those in the northern Sweden and those in the central and southern Sweden. Such perception also differs in summer and in spring and autumn. Similarly, northern Sweden cyclists are more aware of temperature variation than cyclists in the central and southern Sweden in spring and autumn when temperature changes significantly. The influence of temperature variation on motorised modes also varies among seasons and regions. However, the trend is less straightforward than that on non-motorised modes. The findings highlight the importance to incorporate individual and regional unique anticipation and adaptations behaviours within our policy design and infrastructure management.

Keyword
Weather changes, Regional and seasonal variability, Travel mode choice, Marginal effects
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-172498 (URN)10.1016/j.tranpol.2015.01.001 (DOI)000357349200016 ()
Note

QC 20150825

Available from: 2015-08-25 Created: 2015-08-25 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
2. Investigating the impacts of weather variability on individual's daily activity-travel patterns: A comparison between commuters and non-commuters in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigating the impacts of weather variability on individual's daily activity-travel patterns: A comparison between commuters and non-commuters in Sweden
2015 (English)In: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, ISSN 0965-8564, E-ISSN 1879-2375, Vol. 82, 47-64 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Understanding travel behaviour change under various weather conditions can help analysts and policy makers incorporate the uniqueness of local weather and climate within their policy design, especially given the fact that future climate and weather will become more unpredictable and adverse. Using datasets from the Swedish National Travel Survey and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute that spans a period of thirteen years, this study explores the impacts of weather variability on individual activity-travel patterns. In doing so, this study uses an alternative representation of weather from that of directly applying observed weather parameters. Furthermore, this study employs a holistic model structure. The model structure is able to analyse the simultaneous effects of weather on a wide range of interrelated travel behavioural aspects, which has not been investigated in previous weather studies. Structural equation models (SEM) are applied for this purpose. The models for commuters and non-commuters are constructed separately. The analysis results show that the effects of weather can be even more extreme when considering indirect effects from other travel behaviour indicators involved in the decision-making processes. Commuters are shown to be much less sensitive to weather changes than non-commuters. Variation of monthly average temperature is shown to play a more important role in influencing individual travel behaviour than variation of daily temperature relative to its monthly mean, whilst in the short term, individual activity-travel choices are shown to be more sensitive to the daily variation of the relative humidity and wind speed relative to the month mean. Poor visibility and heavy rain are shown to strongly discourage the intention to travel, leading to a reduction in non-work activity duration, travel time and the number of trips on the given day. These findings depict a more comprehensive picture of weather impact compared to previous studies and highlight the importance of considering interdependencies of activity travel indicators when evaluating weather impacts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keyword
Weather variability, Activity-travel patterns, Long term and short term impacts, Structural equation model, Commuters and non-commuters, Sweden
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-180625 (URN)10.1016/j.tra.2015.09.005 (DOI)000366777200004 ()2-s2.0-84942305121 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20160120

Available from: 2016-01-20 Created: 2016-01-19 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
3. Examining the impact of weather variability on non-commuters' daily activity-travel patterns in different regions of Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Examining the impact of weather variability on non-commuters' daily activity-travel patterns in different regions of Sweden
2014 (English)In: Journal of Transport Geography, ISSN 0966-6923, E-ISSN 1873-1236, Vol. 39, 36-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

By jointly modelling the routine and leisure activity travel engagements of non-commuters in different regions of Sweden, this paper explores the interactions between time allocation, travel demand and mode choice under different weather conditions. Combined weather and travel survey datasets that span a period of over 13 years were analysed. Simultaneous Tobit models were applied to explore the interactions among these activity travel indicators, whilst municipalities' unique conditions and heterogeneities between different time-points were taken into account. The model results reveal the trade-offs between routine and leisure activities in terms of activity duration, number of trips and travel time. Positive mutual endogeneity was found between slow-mode share in routine and leisure trips. The results also highlight the trade-offs between routine and leisure activities under abnormal weather conditions. Regional differences between weather effects are substantial due to differences in direct, indirect and total marginal effects. Between-municipality variability constitutes a considerable part of the variability in activity duration and travel time. Between-municipality variability in leisure activity duration and leisure travel time is larger in northern Sweden, while that of routine activity duration and routine travel time is larger in central Sweden, after weather and social demographics have been controlled.

Keyword
Weather variability, Activity-travel patterns, Regional difference, Simultaneous Tobit models, Total marginal effect
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-156137 (URN)10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2014.06.019 (DOI)000343627900004 ()2-s2.0-84904296486 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20141209

Available from: 2014-12-08 Created: 2014-11-21 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. Jointly modelling individual’s daily activity-travel time use andmode share by a nested multivariate Tobit model system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Jointly modelling individual’s daily activity-travel time use andmode share by a nested multivariate Tobit model system
2015 (English)In: Transportation Research Procedia: 21st International Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory, Elsevier, 2015, Vol. 9, 71-89 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Understanding mechanisms underlie the individual’s daily time allocations is very important to understand the variability ofindividual’s time-space constraints and to forecast his/her daily activity participation. At most of previous studies, activity timeallocation was viewed as allocating a continuous quantity (daily time budget) into multiple discrete alternatives (i.e. variousactivities and trips to engage with). However, few researches considered the influence of travel time that needs to be spent onreaching the activity location. Moreover, travel time itself is influenced by individuals’ mode choice. This can lead to an over- orunder-estimation of particular activity time location. In order to explicitly include the individual’s travel time and mode choiceconsiderations in activity time allocation modelling, in this study, a nested multivariate Tobit model is proposed. This proposedmodel can handle: 1. Corner solution problem (i.e. the present of substantial amount of zero observations); 2. Time allocationtrade-offs among different types of activities (which tends to be ignored in previous studies); 3. Travel is treated as a deriveddemand of activity participation (i.e. travel time and mode share are automatically censored, and are not estimated, ifcorresponding activity duration is censored). The model is applied on a combined dataset of Swedish national travel survey(NTS) and SMHI (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute) weather record. Individuals’ work and non-work activitydurations, travel time and mode shares are jointly modelled as dependent variables. The influences of time-locationcharacteristics, individual and household socio demographics and weather characteristics on each dependent variable areexamined. The estimation results show a strong work and non-work activity time trade-offs due to the individual’s time-spaceconstraints. Evidences on a potential positive utility of travel time added on non-work activity time allocation in the Swedish case,are also found. Meanwhile, the results also show a consistent mode choice preference for a given individual. The estimatednested multivariate Tobit model provides a superior prediction, in terms of the deviation of the predicted value against the actualvalue conditional on the correct prediction regarding censored and non-censored, compared to mutually independent Tobitmodels. However, the nested multivariate Tobit model does not necessarily have a better prediction for model componentsregarding non-work related activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keyword
multiple discrete-continuous model, sample selection model, activity-travel time allocation
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science; Transport Science; Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187017 (URN)10.1016/j.trpro.2015.07.005 (DOI)2-s2.0-84959347867 (Scopus ID)
Conference
21st International Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory,5 - 7 August, 2015, Kobe, Japan
Note

QC 20160517

Available from: 2016-05-16 Created: 2016-05-16 Last updated: 2016-12-05Bibliographically approved
5. Measuring the impacts of weather variability on home-based trip chaining behaviour: a focus on spatial heterogeneity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Measuring the impacts of weather variability on home-based trip chaining behaviour: a focus on spatial heterogeneity
2015 (English)In: Transportation, ISSN 0049-4488, E-ISSN 1572-9435Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using the 2011 Swedish national travel survey data, this paper explores the influence of weather characteristics on individuals’ home-based trip chaining complexity. A series of panel mixed ordered Probit models are estimated to examine the influence of individual/household social demographics, land use characteristics, and weather characteristics on individuals’ home-based trip chaining complexity. A thermal index, the universal thermal climate index (UTCI), is used in this study instead of using directly measured weather variables in order to better approximate the effects of the thermal environment. The effects of UTCI are segmented into different seasons to account for the seasonal difference of UTCI effects. Moreover, a spatial expansion method is applied to allow the impacts of UTCI to vary across geographical locations, as individuals in different regions have different weather/climate adaptions. The effects of weather are examined in subsistence, routine, and discretionary trip chains. The results reveal that the ‘ground covered with snow’ condition is the most influential factor on the number of trips chained per trip chain among all other weather factors. The variation of UTCI significantly influences trip chaining complexity in autumn but not in spring and winter. The routine trip chains are found to be most elastic towards the variation of UTCI. The marginal effects of UTCI on the expected number of trips per routine trip chain have considerable spatial variations, while these spatial trends of UTCI effects are found to be not consistent over seasons.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer-Verlag New York, 2015
Keyword
Spatial heterogeneity, Thermal index, Trip chaining complexity, Weather impact, Geographical regions, Land use, Motor transportation, Geographical locations, National travel surveys, Ordered probit model, Seasonal differences, Chains
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-176241 (URN)10.1007/s11116-015-9623-0 (DOI)000381265900006 ()2-s2.0-84929439753 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20151116

Available from: 2015-11-16 Created: 2015-11-02 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
6. Subjective perception towards uncertainty on weather conditions and its impact on out-of-home leisure activity participation decisions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Subjective perception towards uncertainty on weather conditions and its impact on out-of-home leisure activity participation decisions
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Weather is fundamentally a ‘subjective’ perception rather than an objective measure that affects individual’s everyday travel decisions. This study uses data from a four-wave travel diary survey and aims to answer two research questions, i.e. 1. How individuals from different socio-demographic groups perceive weather. 2. How subjective weather perceptions affect individuals’ leisure activity participation decisions. Subjective weather perception and leisure activity participation are modelled in panel static/dynamic ordered Probit models. The results show that the reference thermal environment in general corresponds to the historical mean of the thermal environment. The effects of objective weather measures on subjective weather perception vary substantially between individuals. Moreover, the effect of subjective weather perception on leisure activity participation is non-linear and asymmetric. Only “very bad weather” and “very good weather” significantly influence the leisure activity participation. The effect of “very bad weather” also varies significantly between individuals. The intra-individual heterogeneity in the effect of “very good weather” has a smaller magnitude than that in the effect of “very bad weather”.

Keyword
Subjective weather perception; Leisure activity participation; Intra-individual heterogeneity
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187013 (URN)
Note

QC 20160517

Available from: 2016-05-16 Created: 2016-05-16 Last updated: 2016-05-17Bibliographically approved
7. Estimating changes in transport CO2 emissions due to changes in weather and climate in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Estimating changes in transport CO2 emissions due to changes in weather and climate in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is a considerable body of studies on the relationship between daily transport activities and CO2 emissions. However, how these emissions vary in different weather conditions within and between the seasons of the year is largely unknown. Because individual activity–travel patterns are not static but vary in different weather conditions, it is immensely important to understand how CO2 emissions vary due to the change of weather. Using Swedish National Travel Survey data, with emission factors calculated through the European emission factor model ARTEMIS, this study is a first attempt to derive the amount of CO2 emission changes subject to the change of weather conditions. A series of econometric models was used to model travel behaviour variables that are crucial for influencing individual CO2 emissions. The marginal effects of weather variables on travel behaviour variables were derived. The results show an increase of individual CO2 emissions in a warmer climate and in more extreme temperature conditions, whereas increasing precipitation amounts and snow depths show limited effects on individual CO2 emissions. It is worth noting that the change in CO2 emissions in the scenario of a warmer climate and a more extreme temperature tends to be greater than the sum of changes in CO2 emissions in each individual scenario. Given that a warmer climate and more extreme weather could co-occur more frequently in the future, this result suggests even greater individual CO2 emissions than expected in such a future climate.

Keyword
emission factor; CO2 emission; weather and climate
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187014 (URN)
Projects
Understanding the complexity of changes of travelers’ activity-travel choices and related transport CO2 emissions due to the variation of weather and climate in Sweden (Centre för Transport Studie, projekt kod: 446)
Note

QC 20160517

Available from: 2016-05-16 Created: 2016-05-16 Last updated: 2016-05-17Bibliographically approved
8. Weather Variability and Travel Behaviour - What Do We Know and What Do We Not Know
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Weather Variability and Travel Behaviour - What Do We Know and What Do We Not Know
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Given that severe weather conditions is becoming more and more frequent, understanding the roles of weathers in influencing individual’s daily activity-travel pattern is important. Whilst some of previously rare events, such as heavy rain, unpredictable snow, higher temperature, less clear differences between seasons etc., would become more common, it is still largely unknown how individual would change and adapt their travel pattern in future climate conditions. Because of this concern, the number of researches on weather and travel behaviour has been increased dramatically in the recent decades. Most of those empirical evidences, however, have not been adopted in cost-benefit analysis (CBA), which serves as the main tool for policy evaluation and project selection by stakeholders. This study summarizes the existing findings in relations between weather variability and travel behaviour, and critically assesses the methodological issues in those studies. Several further research directions are identified and suggested for bridging the gap between empirical evidence and current practice in CBA.

Keyword
weather; travel behaviour; large-scale transport model; transport policy; cost-benefit analysis
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187016 (URN)
Note

QC 20160517

Available from: 2016-05-16 Created: 2016-05-16 Last updated: 2016-05-17Bibliographically approved

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