C1.4 Definition of trips and purposes

The definition of ‘trip legs’, ‘modes’ and ‘trip purposes’ can often vary between countries. The perception of these terms and how the terms are applied in practice also varies between research documents. The Travel survey report 1997/1998 (LTSA 2000) used trip legs to understand New Zealanders’ travel behaviour. O’Fallon and Sullivan (2005) used ‘trip chains’ to understand how New Zealanders linked their travel into journeys. Consequently, it is important to define these terms to understand the results contained in this report. This allows practitioners to understand how the travel profiles are generated, and allows for comparisons with other national and international research.

The analysis in this report uses ‘trip legs’ and ‘trip leg purposes’. The ‘trip data’ contains over 108,200 separate rows, one for each trip leg. The Ministry of Transport (Abley et al 2008) defines a trip leg as:

A trip leg is a section of travel by single mode with no stops. Thus if one walks to the bus stop, catches the bus to town and walks to his/her workplace, he/she has completed three trip legs (home-bus stop, bus stop 1 to bus stop 2, bus stop 2-work).

Off-road travel, such as on off-road tracks or around private property (eg farms) were excluded from the survey. All on-road travel, including farmers’ work travel, was included in the survey criteria.

Each trip leg has a trip leg purpose and the trip legs contained in the database are categorised by the ‘Tractiv’ column. This column provides details of what activity is undertaken at a trip leg destination. Fifteen activities [trip leg purposes] are listed:

1      Home: This is used where the person is returning home, or to a temporary place of residence at the end of a trip leg.

2      Work – main job: This indicates trip legs to work at a fixed work address. The main job is the job at which most hours are worked.

3      Work – other job: This is used to describe trip legs to a secondary or other job at a fixed work address.

4      Work – employer’s business: This describes all work-related stops that are not to a fixed work address. Employed or self-employed people without a fixed place of work (eg plumbers) are included in this category.

5      Education: This includes travel as a student to institutions such as primary and secondary schools, colleges of advanced education, technical colleges, universities etc. This also includes school-related activities that are not at school, eg school outings, school patrol or school sports in school time. Sports at the weekend or after school are coded as ‘Recreation’. This does not include trip legs to pre-school care/education facilities, as these are considered to be ‘Social/entertainment’.

6      Shopping: This describes any trip leg ending at premises which sell goods or hire goods out for money. Premises which provide services only (eg solicitors, banks) or repairs only (eg appliances or shoe repairs) are coded as ‘Personal business/services’. Shopping is defined as any time the respondent enters a shop, whether or not a purchase is made.

7      Social welfare: This includes stops made at government agencies involved in welfare, eg Work and Income, guidance counsellors, employment offices, etc and also includes collecting pension or unemployment benefit cheques. In this report, however, trips that fall under this definition are included in ‘personal business/services’ unless otherwise stated.

8      Personal business/services: This includes stops made to transact personal business where no goods are involved, eg banks, hairdressers, laundromats, libraries, veterinary surgeons, government offices other than social welfare agencies (eg city councils and voluntary work).

9      Medical/dental: This includes any stop made for personal medical or dental needs. Stops made by a respondent who is accompanying another person are coded under the purpose of ‘Accompany[ing] someone else’.

10   Social/entertainment: This includes visits to a private home; visits to a non-private dwelling (eg visiting a friend in hospital, visiting a friend staying in a hotel); pre-school activities such as kindergarten, crèche, day-care, kohanga reo or nursery school; and all entertainment activities occurring in a public or private place. Such entertainment activities include dining out, clubs, hotels, concerts, religious meetings and off-road driving or motocross. Walking or cycling for social purposes involve exercise and are therefore coded as ‘Recreational’.

11   Recreational: This includes participation in sporting activities and travelling to sporting or recreational activities (eg driving to the park to go jogging). It excludes watching someone else play sport, which is ‘Social/entertainment’; and off-road driving or motorcycling, which are coded as ‘Social/entertainment’ as these have no exercise component.

12   Change mode: This records all cases where the purpose of the stop was to change to another mode of transport.

13   Accompany someone else: This is used in cases where the purpose of the travel was to go somewhere for someone else’s purpose. This is usually to pick up, drop off or accompany another person (or persons) eg a parent who walks to school in the afternoon to pick up their children

14   Left country: This is used where the respondent leaves New Zealand during the travel days. Their travel while in New Zealand should be recorded but any travel outside New Zealand does not form part of the study and is not recorded.

15   Other: This covers any other trip leg purposes not defined by the preceding trip leg definitions above.