A metro smart card data-based analysis of group travel behaviour in Shanghai, China

Yongping Zhang, Ed Manley, Karel Martens, Michael Batty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Group travel behaviour widely exists in cities, but has not been well investigated by researchers. To fill this gap, this paper develops a co-existence-based methodological framework to systematically explore the spatiotemporal characteristics of group travel behaviour. We apply our framework to a case study of Shanghai, China, using a one-month tranche of metro smart card data. Results show that most travellers perform a small number of group trips, together with a small number of co-travellers. They usually travel in a dyad or triad group and form far more small social communities than large ones. Group travel behaviour is distinctly different from individual travel in terms of both time and space: group travellers are more likely to travel during weekends, on holidays, and in the afternoons and evenings. They also prefer to perform group behaviour near stations located in the city centre or the centres of new towns in suburban areas, and close to attractions and public facilities. The analysis we present has various potential applications such as improving the management of public events and supporting the design of group ticket policy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103764
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Big data
  • China
  • Co-existence
  • Group travel behaviour
  • Smart card data
  • Space and time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • General Environmental Science


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