[en] To support policy makers combating travel-related externalities, quality data are required for the design and management of transportation systems and policies. To this end, much money has been spent on collecting household- and person-based data. The main objective of this paper is to assess the quality of origin-destination (O-D) matrices derived from household activity travel surveys. To this purpose, a Monte Carlo experiment is set up to estimate the precision of O-D matrices given different sampling rates. The Belgian 2001 census data, containing work- and school-related travel information for all 10,296,350 residents, are used for the experiment. For different sampling rates, 2,000 random stratified samples are drawn. For each sample, three O-D matrices are composed: one at the municipality level, one at the district level, and one at the provincial level. The correspondence between the samples and the population is assessed by using the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) and a censored version of the MAPE (MCAPE). The results show that no accurate O-D matrices can be derived directly from these surveys. Only when half of the population is queried is an acceptable O-D matrix obtained at the provincial level. Therefore, use of additional information to grasp better the behavioral realism underlying destination choices and collection of information about particular O-D pairs by means of vehicle intercept surveys are recommended. In addition, results suggest using the MCAPE next to traditional criteria to examine dissimilarities between different O-D matrices. An important avenue for further research is the investigation of the effect of sampling proportions on travel demand model outcomes.
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