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Enhancing Travel Data Collection with an Emphasis on Active Transport

Hamid Safi, Mahmoud Mesbah, and Luis Ferreira
School of Civil Engineering, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Abstract—The promotion of active transport has been considered as a fundamental objective of transport planning policies since it can improve passenger’s health, relieve traffic congestion, and reduce air pollution. However, the share of active transport in planning studies has not traditionally been estimated accurate enough. One of the main reasons for this problem is the inability of conventional travel survey methods to identify trips made by active modes in the travel behaviour of individuals. Nowadays, the employment of smartphones/GPS devices and elaborated algorithms has improved the accuracy of travel data collections. Yet, the accuracy of current algorithms in detecting active modes of transport is questionable. This paper addresses this concern by proposing a comprehensive and practical framework for detecting trips especially those made by an active mode of transport. In this study, a smartphone application has been developed in conjunction with an improved post-processing analysis framework. It is suggested to revise the conventional method of trip detection and employ smoothing techniques after trip detection instead of employment on GPS raw data to improve the accuracy of data collection. In addition, important attributes for trip detection are applied in a rule-based model. The results demonstrate that the model can detect trips more accurately compared to an active travel data collection approach, and increase the number of detected active-mode trips by 22%. The proposed approach can be employed in all GPS-assisted travel surveys, thereby improving their accuracy and reduce the under-reporting rate, specifically for trips made by active modes of transport.

Index Terms—active transport, travel survey, smartphone, GPS, framework

Cite: Hamid Safi, Mahmoud Mesbah, and Luis Ferreira, "Enhancing Travel Data Collection with an Emphasis on Active Transport," Journal of Traffic and Logistics Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 117-127, December 2016. doi: 10.18178/jtle.4.2.117-127
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