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How routine is a routine? An analysis of the day-to-day variability in prism vertex location


  • Kitamura, Ryuichi
  • Yamamoto, Toshiyuki
  • Susilo, Yusak O.
  • Axhausen, Kay W.


This study is concerned with how routine an individual's routine really can be. This question is addressed by examining the day-to-day variability of the time co-ordinate of the vertex of a time-space prism; in other words, by examining how the timeframe which governs the individual's daily schedule varies from day to day. When the timeframe varies, it is likely that the individual's behavior also varies. When the timeframe is stable, on the other hand, a routine can be maintained. The analysis presented in this paper attempts to determine how much of the variation in travel is due to the variation in the timeframe. The origin vertices of workers' morning prisms, which determine how early they can leave home in the morning, are examined in this study, along with the departure times of the first trips in the prisms, which are mostly supposedly routine commute trips. The results indicate that the vertices are located with a much smaller variance, but vary more systematically than do the departure times of the first trips in the prisms. This implies that a large degree of variability is introduced when a trip is made within the timeframe as determined by a prism vertex. It is also shown that the departure time varies from worker to worker according to unobserved heterogeneity--i.e., unexplained differences across individuals--much more than does the prism vertex. The study results indicate that large degrees of flexibility are associated with trip making, and suggest the presence of room for behavioral modification with respect to workers' first trips in the morning.

Suggested Citation

  • Kitamura, Ryuichi & Yamamoto, Toshiyuki & Susilo, Yusak O. & Axhausen, Kay W., 2006. "How routine is a routine? An analysis of the day-to-day variability in prism vertex location," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 259-279, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:40:y:2006:i:3:p:259-279

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Toshiyuki Yamamoto & Ryuichi Kitamura & Ram M Pendyala, 2004. "Comparative analysis of time - space prism vertices for out-of-home activity engagement on working and nonworking days," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(2), pages 235-250, March.
    2. Kay Axhausen & Andrea Zimmermann & Stefan Schönfelder & Guido Rindsfüser & Thomas Haupt, 2002. "Observing the rhythms of daily life: A six-week travel diary," Transportation, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 95-124, May.
    3. Bhat, Chandra R. & Frusti, Teresa & Zhao, Huimin & Schönfelder, Stefan & Axhausen, Kay W., 2004. "Intershopping duration: an analysis using multiweek data," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 39-60, January.
    4. Waldman, Donald M., 1982. "A stationary point for the stochastic frontier likelihood," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 275-279, February.
    5. Robert Schlich & Kay Axhausen, 2003. "Habitual travel behaviour: Evidence from a six-week travel diary," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 13-36, February.
    6. U Landau & J N Prashker & M Hirsh, 1981. "The Effect of Temporal Constraints on Household Travel Behavior," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 13(4), pages 435-448, April.
    7. U Landau & J N Prashker & M Hirsh, 1981. "The effect of temporal constraints on household travel behavior," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 13(4), pages 435-448, April.
    8. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Heinen, Eva & Chatterjee, Kiron, 2015. "The same mode again? An exploration of mode choice variability in Great Britain using the National Travel Survey," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 266-282.
    2. Jianchuan Xianyu & Soora Rasouli & Harry Timmermans, 2017. "Analysis of variability in multi-day GPS imputed activity-travel diaries using multi-dimensional sequence alignment and panel effects regression models," Transportation, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 533-553, May.
    3. Nursitihazlin Ahmad Termida & Yusak O. Susilo & Joel P. Franklin, 2016. "Examining the effects of out-of-home and in-home constraints on leisure activity participation in different seasons of the year," Transportation, Springer, vol. 43(6), pages 997-1021, November.
    4. repec:kap:transp:v:45:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11116-017-9789-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Marsden, Greg & Docherty, Iain, 2013. "Insights on disruptions as opportunities for transport policy change," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 46-55.
    6. Molin, Eric & Mokhtarian, Patricia & Kroesen, Maarten, 2016. "Multimodal travel groups and attitudes: A latent class cluster analysis of Dutch travelers," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 14-29.
    7. Susilo, Yusak O. & Avineri, Erel, 2013. "The impacts of household structure on the individual stochastic travel and out of-home activity time budgets," Working papers in Transport Economics 2013:19, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    8. Charles Raux & Tai-Yu Ma & Eric Cornelis, 2011. "Variability versus stability in daily travel and activity behaviour. The case of a one week travel diary," Working Papers halshs-00612610, HAL.
    9. Morency, Catherine & Trépanier, Martin & Agard, Bruno, 2007. "Measuring transit use variability with smart-card data," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 193-203, May.
    10. Susilo, Yusak O. & Kitamura, Ryuichi, 2008. "Structural changes in commuters' daily travel: The case of auto and transit commuters in the Osaka metropolitan area of Japan, 1980-2000," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 95-115, January.

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