Household Travel Survey (HTS)

The most comprehensive source of personal travel data for the Sydney Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA). Find out how and why people travel.

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 in 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 changes in travel behaviour resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic this rolling year approach was unable to be used for the 2020/21 HTS release. Results are based on data collected since October 2020 when the survey resumed and has resulted in a lower sample size than previous HTS releases. To ensure the integrity of the results and mitigate risk of sampling errors the 2020/21 results will be reported differently to previous years. Please see below for more information on changes to the 2020/21 HTS release.

 

1 Data collection for the HTS was suspended during lock-down periods announced by the NSW Government due to COVID-19.

2 2019 estimates are an exception to this as they are based on four years of pooled sample.

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.

Transport will be working with our partners to accelerate the increase in sample volumes to provide HTS results for smaller geographic and regional areas throughout FY23.

Changes to HTS 2020/21

HTS was suspended from late March 2020 to early October 2020 due to the impact and restrictions of COVID-19. The 2020/21 data release includes data collected from early October 2020 to June 2021 when the survey was able to recommence.

The impact of travel behaviour changes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a break in the trends and consequently, the 2020/21 release of HTS data is based on a single year of sample. Categories previously released have smaller sample sizes and may be susceptible to high sampling error and statistically not reliable. This has led to some adjustments made to the HTS 2020/21 data:

  • SA3 and LGA level data will not be released for HTS 2020/21
  • Estimates for HTS 2020/21 are currently at the Sydney GCCSA level only
  • Mode and purpose categories are aggregated differently to previous years with some categories combined or placed into "other".

Future releases

Due to the changes in HTS 2020/21, some previous reported estimates are not included in this release. Transport for NSW is reviewing the data set and developing additional data products for a potential future release, including:

  • Estimates for Regional area
  • Estimates at more granular geographical levels

Data available on the Open Data Hub and HTS visualisations will be updated as these versions are released.

Please refer to the Data Document for 2020/21 (PDF, 153.06 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 

Visualisations

Please refer to HTS Visualisation User Guide for help.

Note: Datasets have been moved to the Open Data Hub. Please access Household Travel Survey data from this new site