This report lays some foundations for improving how interventions (eg travel plans) are evaluated and monitored in cities. The main data source used is the New Zealand Household Travel Survey (HTS). Some census results on distances between home and work are a useful complement.
Distance travelled to work in main urban areas (ie urban areas with populations of 30,000 or more) is a major focus because these are the settings for the vast majority of travel plans. Because travel plan monitoring surveys typically estimate distances by assuming that workers take the quickest route from home to work, we checked on the extent to which actual routes taken are longer than the quickest route.
The report also analyses distances travelled to school in main urban areas. In particular, it provides HTS results that help to judge when distances collected by school travel plan surveys are implausibly long.
Vehicle occupancy is the report's final topic. Mean occupancy (per kilometre driven) in main urban areas was 1.54 and has not changed detectably since the 1997/98 HTS.