GPS-Based Tracking of Mobility Patterns. Luxembourg

By News Editor / Updated: 03 Sep 2014

The Luxembourgish research institute CEPS/ INSTEAD conducted a survey about the daily mobility patterns of pupils, combining a classical questionnaire with GPS-Based tracking of mobility habits/patterns. This combined approach allowed the collection of more qualified spatioa-temporal data on mobility patterns than a classical survey/questionnaire. The findings are intended to enable improvements in the provision of school transport in the outer districts of Luxembourg.

Background & Objectives

Mobility is central to family dynamics. The freedom of a child depends on its ability to move around, yet children in the age group 10-12 years are not completely autonomus public transport users. In Luxembourg about 20% of pupils at primary level live
outside Luxembourg city. They travel over 20 km to their school every day. This makes them an exciting target group not only for public transport providers, but also in terms of faciliating a modal shift among daily commuters. However, the trips
between home and school take longer than normal due to poor provision of school transport in most districts. This is why a strong dependence on parents and their cars seems to be dominant. This project was designed on the assumption that having more precise information on daily activities, trips and transport modes would allow a better understanding of daily mobility and the identification of alternatives to private cars.


In order to better identify the mobility habits and patterns of children aged 10-12 years, the Luxembourgish research institute CEPS/ INSTEAD developed a first survey in 2010 that concentrated on the distance between the school the children attend and their home. Since such a survey is quite limited in the provision of generalised theses about the daily mobility patterns of children, it needed to be extended. Therefore, CEPS/ INSTEAD, in cooperation with several schools and the City of
Luxembourg, started conducting GPS-based tracking of the movements of the pupils. Adding this GPS component enabled the collection and analysis of complementary data on the succession of activities/travels and more specific information on routes and mobility habits, e.g. the type of movement, duration of the journey, levels of congestion. Furthermore the tracking could be used to cross-check the answers of the initial questionnaire.
Such information has a high potential for improving not only the accessibility of the schools or other relevant key destinations for children, but also to improve the connectivity of the first and last miles of a journey.


Although only 80 pupils participated in this extended version of the survey, initial results have shown that they GPS-based component significantly increases the quality of the data collected. The results of the whole survey will be available in autumn 2011.
Currently, various mapping solutions are being tested in order to offer various adapted visualisation solutions and to enhance the presentation of the results to key transport stakeholders.

Collective passenger transport
Traffic and demand management
Olivier Klein
News Editor
measures - bus lanes
measures - demand responsive services
24 Oct 2011
03 Sep 2014