IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Activity settings and travel behaviour: A social contact perspective


  • Andrew Harvey
  • Maria Taylor


Using time-use data from Canada, Norway, and Sweden, this study briefly outlines the essence of the activity setting approach and illustrates one aspect of its usefulness by exploring the impact of social contact on travel behaviour. The activity system approach views behaviour in context. Activity settings are generic components of the activity system and studying them using time-use diaries can provide major insights into travel behaviour. Focusing on social contact, this paper characterizes the social environment in terms of social circle (interaction partners) and social space (location). The analysis shows that there are clear differences in the levels of social interaction across various groups, including those who work at home. The 1992 Canadian data showed people working at the workplace spend relatively more time with others, about 50% of total time awake. Working at home reduced the time with others to a low of 15.7%. when people worked at home the family benefited, almost doubling the time spent with them compared to those working at the workplace. Persons working at home only spend the most time alone. There is a tendency for persons with low social interaction to travel more. It is argued that individual need, or want, social contact and if they cannot find it at the workplace they will seek it elsewhere thus generating travel. Whether this is the result of need or opportunity is of minor relevance, what it does suggest is that working in isolation at home will not necessarily diminish travel but rather may simply change its purpose. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Harvey & Maria Taylor, 2000. "Activity settings and travel behaviour: A social contact perspective," Transportation, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 53-73, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:27:y:2000:i:1:p:53-73
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1005207320044

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bhat, Chandra R. & Sivakumar, Aruna & Axhausen, Kay W., 2003. "An analysis of the impact of information and communication technologies on non-maintenance shopping activities," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 857-881, December.
    2. Ram Pendyala & Chandra Bhat, 2004. "An Exploration of the Relationship between Timing and Duration of Maintenance Activities," Transportation, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 429-456, November.
    3. Arnaldo Mont’Alvão & Neuma Aguiar, 2009. "Travel Time in a Brazilian City," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 93(1), pages 219-222, August.
    4. Pinjari, Abdul Rawoof & Bhat, Chandra R. & Hensher, David A., 2009. "Residential self-selection effects in an activity time-use behavior model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 729-748, August.
    5. Steven Farber & Antonio Páez & Ruben Mercado & Matthew Roorda & Catherine Morency, 2011. "A time-use investigation of shopping participation in three Canadian cities: is there evidence of social exclusion?," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 17-44, January.
    6. Donggen Wang & Fion Law, 2007. "Impacts of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on time use and travel behavior: a structural equations analysis," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 513-527, July.
    7. Spinney, Jamie E.L. & Scott, Darren M. & Newbold, K. Bruce, 2009. "Transport mobility benefits and quality of life: A time-use perspective of elderly Canadians," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-11, January.
    8. Ben-Elia, Eran & Alexander, Bayarma & Hubers, Christa & Ettema, Dick, 2014. "Activity fragmentation, ICT and travel: An exploratory Path Analysis of spatiotemporal interrelationships," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 56-74.
    9. Kathleen Deutsch & Konstadinos Goulias, 2013. "Decision makers and socializers, social networks and the role of individuals as participants," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 755-771, July.
    10. Florence Rodhain & Bernard Fallery, 2010. "Après la prise de conscience écologique, les T.I.C. en quête de responsabilité sociale," Post-Print hal-00821450, HAL.
    11. Petr Matous & Yasuyuki Todo & Ayu Pratiwi, 2015. "The role of motorized transport and mobile phones in the diffusion of agricultural information in Tanggamus Regency, Indonesia," Transportation, Springer, vol. 42(5), pages 771-790, September.
    12. Abdul Rawoof Pinjari & Chandra R. Bhat, 2011. "Activity-based Travel Demand Analysis," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:27:y:2000:i:1:p:53-73. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.