Changes in Travel Behaviour During and After the Olympic Games



Changes in Travel Behaviour During and After the Olympic Games

Authors

Kangjing He, MVA Consultancy

Description

On the basis of understanding what the short-term and long-term impacts on transportation have been in previous Olympic Games, this research investigates the travel behaviour changes under the circumstance of the Beijing Olympics 2008 by examining the information from a series of continuous Beijing residents household travel surveys before, during and after the 2008 Olympic Games.

Abstract

Dr Kangjing He (MVA Consultancy, worked as a transport planner at the Beijing Organising Committee for the XXIX Olympiad, and advisory consultant of the London 2012 Organising committee)

Professor John Preston (University of Southampton) – to be confirmed

The impact of mega events such as the Olympic Games on the host cities is a matter of continuing debate and controversy. The expectations for increasing the profile of the city as well as the opportunities to improve infrastructure and transport operations are widely recognized. Their effects on the city transport patterns particularly towards sustainable urban transport have proved to be significant. By reviewing the challenges and impacts of previous Olympic Games to the transport system of host cities, it is found that understanding the travel behaviour changes along with mega events can improve future transportation planning, and the potential of ‘legacy planning’ is identified. This can help to optimize the background transport system and contribute to the development of transport facilities with far-reaching significance and value on the urban transportation development towards sustainability. In the absence of the continuing records and sufficient knowledge of travellers’ responses towards the changes of transport facilities and policies, many host cities had to repeatedly face similar challenges in forecasting, planning and running the mega events. This lack of knowledge in the travel behaviour changes associated with the Olympic Games and potential concerns have been the main motivation for this research.

On the basis of understanding what the short-term and long-term impacts on transportation have been in previous Olympic Games, this research investigates the travel behaviour changes under the circumstance of the Beijing Olympics 2008 by examining the information from a series of continuous Beijing residents household travel surveys before, during and after the 2008 Olympic Games. The comparison found that the local residents’ daily travel pattern was interrupted by the Travel Demand Management (TDM) measures and significantly changed during the Olympic Games. Though some impacts seemed to continue after the Games, most changes the residents made during the Games didn’t appear to have a lasting effect on local travel patterns.

With Weighted-Euclidean distance Probability Mass function (PMF) tests and cluster analysis, the individual behaviour changes were examined in terms of trip rates, primary travel modes and commuting trips. This showed that travellers with different demographic characteristics might have significantly different behaviour changes and responses to the Games-related Travel Demand Management (TDM) measures. Particularly, the car users and the public transport passengers reacted differently to the changes brought by the Olympics, in both the short-term and the long-term. The data analysis also revealed that the travellers’ actual behaviours were significantly different from what they indicated before the Games, especially on walking and subway. Understanding the difference between groups of travellers is essential for future planning and strategic decisions.

Publisher

Association for European Transport