An absolute motherlode for London travel data lies with must be Transport for London’s (TfL's) Travel in London report 4 the annual report on travel behaviour and transport system performance.
Including comparison data going back almost two decades, this 278 page document (published by the Mayor Londons’ office and dated 20 December 2011) is a goldmine for city transport researchers. It may have gathered virtual dust in the corporate publications section of TfL's web site, unheralded by a news announcement or press release for this annual report - maybe the weight of data within has or deterred TfL’s press department from delving into its own statistics....
Possibly unique data for a large city
David Metz has picked up on the wealth of data available however of the Centre for Transport Studies, University College London, saying he has “not found similar data sets for other large cities or city regions, whether in the UK or elsewhere”
Arriving not just travelling
The data behind TfL's report 3 for the previous year, including data in a more raw form, was released. It would be valuable to allow simialr data for the latest report to be avaialble in order to review the data more accurately.
There’s plenty to chew on however, much of it very specific and local as well as cumulative.
Being a report on travel in London, it seems natural it should take a more citizen based approach than similar DfT data that prefers to quantify journeys by miles travelled to TfL that places equal merit to walking, cycling, driving, or rail etc. .
To be fair priorities may differ nationally compared to London, where shorter journey times could be a more appropriate measure of traveling success than an emphasis on speed and distance.
Surely for ideal mobility, a journey would be take zero time over zero distance....?
Trends over the last decade
As TfL was formed in 2000, the report mainly makes historical comparisons in the decade to 2010 (although frequently in the report data is included back 1993).
Some developments noted for the last decade since year 2000 includes:
33% more bus kilometres and 10% more Underground (including DLR) kilometres were operated in 2010/11, compared to 2000/01.
A reduction in the volume of road traffic in London. Seven percent fewer vehicle kilometres were driven in 2010 than in 2000, partly reflecting expanded public transport provision, and part reductions in the capacity of the road network (I'm not sure this is explained although the report is light on discussion of the congestion charge).
A substantial growth in demand for travel, with an 8% increase in population and a 5% increase in jobs since 2000. Nine percent more trips were made on an average day in 2010 compared to 2000, with 13% more journey stages.
An unprecedented shift in mode shares for travel away from the private car towards public transport, walking and cycling. There was a 7% net shift in journey stage based mode share between 2000 and 2010 towards public transport, walking and cycling.
Had the mode shares in London not changed in this way, and all other things remaining equal, in 2010 there would have been more than 1 million additional car trips per day.
Trends in 2010
A total of 24.8 million trips were made to, from or within London on an average day - an increase of 1% over 2009. There was also a 0.8% increase in journey stages - to 28.7 million on an average day.
The shift in mode share away from private transport towards public transport, walking and cycling seen in London over the decade continued, with a 0.6% net shift between 2009 and 2010 to public transport.
There was a 3.0% increase in the annual number of journey stages made by public transport in 2010/11 against 2009/10 - up from 3.45 billion to 3.56 billion. This was matched by an increase of 4.1% in passenger kilometres travelled on the principal public transport networks. This increase partly reflected recovery, in terms of aggregate travel demand at least, from the recent economic recession, but also reflected population growth in London over the most recent year.
A 5.0% increase in passenger kilometres travelled and 3.9% more journey stages on the Underground in 2010/11, compared with 2009/10. There was also an increase of 0.9% in passenger kilometres travelled by bus, with a corresponding increase of 1.4% in bus journey stages.
The amount of traffic on London’s roads continued to fall, with 0.9% fewer kilometres driven in 2010 compared to 2009.
The number of journey stages made by bicycle in 2010 increased by 5.8%, following a 5.0% increase in the previous year. On an average day in 2010 there were 540,000 cycle stages in London and 490,000 trips where cycle was the main mode.
Reflected the impact of the economic recession, there was an overall fall in the volume of road freight lifted of 25% between 2008 and 2009, alongside falls of 8% and 12% in rail and waterborne freight respectively. There is evidence of a recovery in 2010, with road freight up by 28% on 2009, recovering much of the previous year’s fall, and air freight moved up by 16% on 2009, following a 10% fall the previous year.
Trips and journeys for different modes
Comparison of daily trips and journey stages are included going back to 1993. A Trip is defined as a complete door-to-door movement by an individual to achieve a specific purpose (eg to go from home to work). A Journey Stage is a part of a trip made on a specific mode of transport, eg a trip of 3 stages comprising a walk stage from home to a bus stop, a bus stage to central London, and a further walk stage to a place of work.
The report tabulates to the nearest 100,000 journeys comparisons for the years from 1993 to 2010 for trips and journeys for different modes. Shown gra
Accumualted data shown graphically in the report mostly just reflects the increases in resident population of London increased by an average of 0.6% per annum, and economic growth - as interuupted in 2008.
Separeted by mode, however, my own graphs using the tabulated rounded data are more revealing of the tipping points, and point to some possible forecasts.
The graphs for daily average number of trips in Greater London reveal the decline in car trips as mirrored by a slightly rising number of walking trips. The trend for decreased car trips seems to have begun in 1999, while the walking trend is continuous so may simply reflect population growth. It also shows:
There were more bus passenger trips than car passenger trip for the first time in the period of the data in 2010.
The trends for underground and train trips more or less run in tandem, with a consident gradual increase for both, while trends for cycle trips are diluted by lack of detail in the figures. It would be helpful if the full data were available.
If you take the figures at face value you could make a reasonable forecast that there will be more trips by foot that by car in London within two to three years.
For the estimated daily average number of journey stages most noticeable is the increase in travel volumes by bus in London, the tipping point for which also seems to have happened in 1999.
According to the report, "a trend towards higher public mode shares in London has been in evidence since the early 1990s and had accelerated in the years after 2000. It continued, despite the economic downturn, in 2008 and 2009 when travel demand was depressed and resumed in 2010 as travel by private transport (other than cycling) continued to decrease while public transport increased".
Trends in proportion are perhaps best shown graphically by animation - click the link to see how this percentage shares of journey stages by type of transport has developed over the period from 1993 to 2010.
Further data visualisations
Other data visualisations can be found on the Greater London Authority website although these latest figures seem to reveal no more than the rather obvious that boroughs closer to central London have more journeys by foot and less by car, and the more dangerous it is to cycle.
A blog specifically covering London Trasnport Data exist but does seem to contain any attribution.