USC's Pengyu Zhu and I are having fun with results from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS).
I had previously noted that in the earlier surveys (1990 and 2001), most peak-hour travel was for non-work purposes (including just the NHTS categories "family/personal" and "school/church" and "social/recreational"). This continued to be the case in 2009.
Looking at person-trips in just the Monday-Thursday peaks (Friday is slightly different), the two recent surveys (2001 and 2009) are remarkably consistent. The AM peak (6-9am) included 62 % nonwork trips and 38% worktrips in 2001, but the corresponding results for 2009 were 63% and 37%. For the PM-peak (4-7pm), the non-work shares were even greater, 76% in both years.
Peak-load road pricing anyone?
Travel per capita was down slightly from 2001. Was it the 2009 economic troubles? Was it the internet? We are testing.