Analyzing the Reporting Error of Public Transport Trips in the Danish National Travel Survey Using Smart Card Data

Georges Sfeir*, Filipe Rodrigues, Maya Abou-Zeid, Francisco Camara Pereira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

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Household travel surveys have been used for decades to collect individuals and households’ travel behavior. However, self-reported surveys are subject to recall bias, as respondents might struggle to recall and report their activities accurately. This study examines the time reporting error of public transit users in a nationwide household travel survey by matching, at the individual level, five consecutive years of data from two sources, namely the Danish National Travel Survey (TU) and the Danish Smart Card system (Rejsekort). Survey respondents are matched with travel cards from the Rejsekort data solely based on the respondents’ declared spatiotemporal travel behavior. Approximately, 70% of the respondents were successfully matched with Rejsekort travel cards. The findings reveal a median time reporting error of 11.34 minutes, with an Interquartile Range of 28.14 minutes. Furthermore, a statistical analysis was performed to explore the relationships between the survey respondents’ reporting error and their socio-economic and demographic characteristics. The results indicate that females and respondents with a fixed schedule are in general more accurate than males and respondents with a flexible schedule in reporting their times of travel. Moreover, trips reported during weekdays or via the internet displayed higher accuracies compared to trips reported during weekends and holidays or via telephones. This disaggregated
analysis provides valuable insights that could help in improving the design and analysis of travel surveys, as well accounting for reporting errors/biases in travel survey-based applications.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2024
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event 103rd Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting - Washington D.C., United States
Duration: 7 Jan 202411 Jan 2024


Conference 103rd Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington D.C.


  • Travel Survey
  • Smart Card Data
  • Reporting Error
  • Public Transport
  • Recall Bias


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