Let it rain: Weather effects on activity stress and scheduling behavior

Roger B. Chen, Hani S. Mahmassani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Travel and activity scheduling decisions largely depend on travelers' responses to prevailing trip conditions. These could be impacted by environmental situations, such as adverse weather, which can increase the variability in travel times, practical capacity and other system properties. Understanding and modeling the relationship between travel and activity decisions and adverse weather is important for devising and evaluating transportation management strategies that rely on adjustments and shifts in behavior. This study focuses on the impact of rainfall precipitation on activity decisions, more specifically the perceived stress underlying these decisions. In the current study, activity scheduling decisions for discretionary activities are examined under different rainfall levels, but given consistent data on other forms of precipitations, such as snow sleet or hail, this study could be extended to these cases. Activity stress is modeled under a discrete choice framework. The results show that the perceived activity stress differs under rainfall to some extent, depending on the number of activities in a traveler's activity queue, and the number of activities completed. The study also reveals that travel behavior may differ under rainfall, suggesting that travelers' may perceive information and uncertainty differently, relative to conditions with less variability in weather. Furthermore, issues concerning climatology data requirements for transportation models are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalTravel Behaviour and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation


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