Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Ram M. Pendyala, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jian J. Lu, Ph.D., P.E.

Committee Member

Steven E. Polzin, Ph.D., P.E.


NHTS, NPTS, Household Travel Survey, Demographic, Socioeconomic, Personal, Vehicle Occupancy, SEM, Structural Equation Modeling, Activity Behavior


Travel demand analysis has traditionally focused on exploring and modeling travel behavior on weekdays. This emphasis on weekday travel behavior analysis was largely motivated by the presence of well-defined peak periods, primarily associated with the journey to and from work. Most travel demand models are based on weekday travel characteristics and purport to estimate traffic volumes for daily or peak weekday conditions. Much of the planning and policy making that occurs in transportation arena in response to weekday travel behavior and forecasts.

More recently, there had been a growing interest in exploring, understanding, and quantifying weekend travel characteristics. The ability to do this has been limited due to the non-availability of travel survey data that includes weekend trip information. Most travel surveys collect information about weekday travel behavior and ignore weekend days. However, the 2001 National Household Travel Survey includes a substantial sample that provided detailed trip information for weekend days and therefore this dataset offers a key opportunity to explore in-depth weekend travel characteristics.

Weekend travel behavior is expected to be substantially different from the weekday travel behavior for difference in several spatial and temporal constraints. The difference in constraints can also lead to a change in trip chaining patterns on weekdays and weekends. Differences in constraints coupled with socio-economic changes characterized by greater disposable income, time-constrained lives, and greater discretionary activity opportunities point towards the growing role that weekend travel behavior is going to play in transportation planning and policy-making.

This thesis provides a comprehensive analysis of weekend travel behavior using the 2001 NHTS. Differences and similarities between weekday and weekend travel behavior are identified and presented for different urban areas sizes varying according to Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) size. Models of weekend and weekday travel behavior are developed to capture the structural relationship of socio-demographics, activity durations, and travel duration are developed using structural equations modeling approaches to better understand the relationships among these aspects of travel behavior on weekdays and weekends. This report is supposed to act as an updated data guide to the National Cooperative Highway Research Program's (NCHRP) Report 365 titled "Travel Estimation Techniques for Urban Planning" aims at studying the changes in behavioral characteristics between two categories of the day of week - a weekday and a weekend based on personal, household and trip characteristics.