Scientific programme

Since there does not seem to be a perspective in FP7 for implementing any harmonized surveys on
transport, our approach is bottom-up: based on COST355 experience (especially in WG3 on National Travel Surveys), this new COST Action should allow researchers from different countries to harmonize their points of view and therefore the surveys they conduct or follow by networking.

Across Europe there is considerable variation in the nature of the mobility information collected by different countries. On one hand, many COST countries have comprehensive, long-established but different methods of data collection, which they are not willing to change by reasons of the comparability with past data in time series. On the other hand, there are other countries which only have the most rudimentary forms of data collection. From the perspective of Common Transport Policy, it is vital that comprehensive information is available at an European level, which implies the need to collect and to combine national data sources to produce a harmonized European statistical resource. Even if elaboration and analysis of surveys are funded in each country, as well as research projects (e.g. "Behaviour and mobility within the week" in Belgium, MOBIDRIVE in Switzerland and Germany about the rhythm of activities) no successful attempts for harmonizing all these surveys and research efforts at European level has been set up. This Action sounds as a suitable tool for building from bottom up such a harmonization framework. It would be also an opportunity to tackle serious challenges at the conceptual and technical levels (e.g. Testing instruments for a comprehensive analysis of attitudes to social networking or the connection between the physical and virtual activities participation). Indeed, even if their use seems

  • Recording errors: sometimes the device may not record all the itinerary, but with new devices (and Galileo) things are getting much better;

  • Techniques issues:

    - the measures are so precise (a few meters of errors) that:

    - as the device will not measure all interesting variable (mode, trips purpose, etc.), methods have to be developped to impute them e.g. by the repetition of reported trips (for activities like work and education) or by the use of existing GIS-data.

  • Statistical continuity: it is essential to compare conventional survey methods with new tracking ones (accuracy of data, rounding process of the reported figures, etc.) for the measurement of long term trends. Therefore it has to be discussed what degree of details has to be achieved and what kind of trips could be included in a harmonized statistic.