Household Travel Survey (HTS)
The Household Travel Survey (HTS) collects information on personal travel behaviour. The study area for the survey is the Sydney Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA) which includes Sydney Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA), parts of Illawarra and Hunter regions.
All residents of occupied private dwellings within the Sydney GMA are considered within scope of the survey and are randomly selected to participate.
The HTS has been running continuously since 1997/981 and collects data for all days through the year – including during school and public holidays.
Typically, approximately 2,000-3,000 households participate in the survey annually. Data is collected on all trips made over a 24-hour period by all members of the participating households.
Annual estimates from the HTS are usually produced on a rolling basis using multiple years of pooled data for each reporting year2. All estimates are weighted to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Estimated Resident Population, corresponding to the year of collection3. Unless otherwise stated, all reported estimates are for an average weekday.
Due to disruptions in data collection resulting from the lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, post-COVID releases of HTS data are based on a lower sample size than previous HTS releases. To ensure integrity of the results and mitigate risk of sampling errors some post-COVID results have been reported differently to previous years. Please see below for more information on changes to HTS post-COVID (2020/21 onwards).
Transport for NSW will work with our partners to boost sample sizes to provide HTS results for smaller geographic and regional areas throughout FY23.
1 Data collection for the HTS was suspended during lock-down periods announced by the NSW Government due to COVID-19.
2 Exceptions apply to the estimates for 2020/21 which are based on a single year of sample as it was decided not to pool the sample with data collected pre-COVID-19.
3 HTS population estimates are also slightly lower than those reported in the ABS census as the survey excludes overseas visitors and those in non-private dwellings.
Changes to HTS post-COVID (2020/21 onwards)
HTS was suspended from late March 2020 to early October 2020 due to the impact and restrictions of COVID-19, and again from July 2021 to October 2021 following the Delta wave of COVID-19. Consequently, both the 2020/21 and 2021/22 releases are based on a reduced data collection period and smaller samples.
Due to the impact of changed travel behaviours resulting from COVID-19 breaking previous trends, HTS releases since 2020/21 have been separated from pre-COVID-19 samples when pooled. As a result, HTS 2020/21 was based on a single wave of data collection which limited the breadth of geography available for release. Subsequent releases are based on pooled post-COVID samples to expand the geographies included with reliable estimates.
Disruption to the data collection during, and post-COVID has led to some adjustments being made to the HTS estimates released post-COVID:
- SA3 level data has not yet been released due to low sample collection.
- LGA level data has been progressively included since 2021/22 for selected LGAs when robust Relative Standard Errors (RSE) for total trips are achieved.
- Mode categories for all geographies are aggregated consistent to the 2020/21 release.
- In 2021/22 and 2022/23 mid-year release the purpose categories for the region level data are expanded to match the pre-COVID categories (8 purpose categories). However, for the six cities and LGAs, they are aggregated consistent to the 2020/21 release (6 purpose categories) due to low samples.
- A new data release – for six cities as defined by the Greater Sydney Commission - is included since 2021/22.
- Mid-year estimates have been released with currently available data for 2022/23 to include a greater number of LGAs to those released in 2021/22. A final release for 2022/23 estimates will follow later in the year.
Please refer to the Mid-year Data Document for 2022/23 (PDF, 267.59 KB) for further details.
Information for survey participants
If you have received a letter from Transport for NSW regarding participation in the Household Travel Survey, you can find more information at Information for Survey Participants.
HTS Privacy Notice for Survey Participants
Frequently asked questions
The Household Travel Survey FAQ answers frequently asked questions regarding the Household Travel Survey (HTS).
HTS Glossary of Terms
Explore average weekday travel patterns of Sydney GCCSA, Hunter & Illawarra region residents, pre-COVID (2009-19) & post-COVID (from 2020).
Explore average weekday travel patterns of SA3 residents in the study area, pre-COVID (2009-19). Post-COVID estimates are not yet available.
Explore average weekday travel patterns of LGA residents pre-COVID (2016-19) & post-COVID (from 2021).
Explore average weekday travel patterns of residents of Six Cities as defined by the Greater Sydney Commission, post-COVID (2021 onwards).
- Datasets have been moved to the Open Data Hub. Please access Household Travel Survey data from this new site.
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Data from the HTS is only available as published on this website. The available data is reported at an aggregate level to minimise re-identification risks. To ensure the privacy of survey respondents, we are unable to provide the data in any alternative form or at a more granular level.