Travel survey Gävle municipality, Sweden


In October 2018, Gävle municipality completed a comprehensive travel survey. During a period of two weeks, 1,275 residents recorded data on their trips. The participants were recruited partly through a letter campaign to a random selection and partly through crowdsourcing with traditional and social media.

The results showed that almost half of all trips were made by car, around a third on foot, 12% by bicycle, 6% by public transport, and the rest by another means of transport. On average, the residents of Gävle make almost 0.4 stops on the way home from work, but just over 0.1 stops on the way to work, where pick-up of children and shopping made up most of the reported errands.


Gävle municipality, Sweden

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Travel relationships

81 percent of trips made by Gävle residents were done within the municipality, a further 7 percent had either stated or ended their journey in a destination in the municipality. The distribution amongst modes of transport within the municipality is like that of all trips, but the average travel length for these trips is shorter than 4.5 kilometres. Almost half of all trips are shorter than 2 kilometres and further 80 percent are shorter than 8 kilometres.

73 percent of trips over the municipal boundaries are done with cars, either as drivers or as passengers, and a further 17 percent are taken with train and 8 percent with bus. These trips are on average 74 kilometres long.

The distribution of transportation modes taken for trips related with shopping or commerce to the municipalities three largest shopping areas City, Hemlingby, and Valbo differs drastically between areas. There is clearly a higher share of care use for areas Valbo and Hemlingby with 71 percent of trips taken with car compared with about 28 percent for City.


Almost a third of residents think that bicycling and bus traffic should be prioritised highly and almost half of residents think that car traffic should be prioritised lower. 26 percent of residents in Gävle responded that they have changed their main mode of travel during the last three years. The most common change that has happened is residents are cycling more; about 14 percent of all respondents reported that they have increased their travel by bicycle during the last three years, while just 4 percent reported that they have reduced their travel by bicycle.

Comparison of results from 2012 and 2018

In 2012, a travel survey was conducted in Gävle using paper surveys. Due to the different methods used for mapping travel in 2012 and 2018 it is hard to compare results to see how travel has changed. With TravelVu more trips are captured using all modes of transport, but the largest difference has been the increase in travel by foot which gets often forgotten in paper surveys. This makes it difficult to discern if differences show the actual travel that has changed or if it shows how the methods differ. Other differences besides the survey methods is the is the differing survey weeks (however this should have little meaning) and the different survey questions. This makes it difficult to see the direction of progress towards goals in the traffic strategy, but a comparison is still compiled.

The table below illustrates differences in results for different evaluation criteria within the follow up of the traffic strategy conducted in 2012 compared with 2018, and there the greatest (if not all) differences depend on different methods used to collect data.


Evalusation criteria (16-74 years) 2012 2018
Total car trips per person, average 1,7 2,6
Average length of a car trip 15,0 15,4
Kilometres travelled by car per person per day 26 40
Total bus trips per person per day, average 0,21 0,19
Average length of car trip 13,1 15,7
Kilometres travelled by car per person per day 2,8 3,1
Population: 71 200 73 100
Total travelled kilometres (million km) with car per day 1,9 2,9
Total travelled kilometres (million km) med bus per day 0,20 0,22
Percent of trips shorter than four kilometres that were made by bicycle. 24% 17%

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