MOP - German Mobility Panel

Graphical representation of a person's trips and activities over the course of a week.
Problem Statement

Providing and developing an efficient transport infrastructure is the basic idea of transport policy and transport planning. This requires constantly updated information about travel events and the travel behavior of the population. Only based on such information can the transport infrastructure be designed to meet people's needs - today and in the future.

For this purpose, the German Mobility Panel (MOP) has been collecting information on travel behavior annually since 1994 - for example, when, for what purpose, and with which means of transport people travel in Germany.


To obtain an overall picture of travel in Germany, the MOP conducts a continuous survey at one-year intervals with the aim of identifying trends in travel behavior early and explaining mobility behavior.


In the study, households are asked about their travel behavior in everyday life. The household members fill in a diary in which they report all their trips in the course of one week. In addition, the MOP surveys car mileage as well as fuel consumption of cars in private households every year.

Unique to the MOP is its design as a panel survey. The same people are asked the same questions about their travel behavior every year. In contrast, repeated cross-sectional surveys that are usually used as a data basis record the travel behavior of other people for each survey. However, changes in behavior due to political or planning measures of one and the same person (intrapersonal changes) can only be recorded by a panel survey.

Another characteristic is the data collection period. The travel behavior of the respondents is surveyed over the period of one week, the reference week. Since the travel behavior of people is determined by routines like many other behaviors, a large part of the variation can already be recorded by observing one week. The survey on only one day can hardly capture this variation. The observation during a week is necessary for the description of multimodal mobility behavior. Multimodality here means the use of different means of transport over time for different trips. Since a large part of the variation in travel behavior is recorded in the MOP by surveying one week, a large part of the multimodal travel behavior can also be described.

With this type of survey and its design, which has remained almost unchanged for more than 25 years, the MOP has become a role model worldwide.

The IfV's task in this project is the scientific monitoring of the study. Central components are data plausibility checks and data preparation, data analysis, as well as the methodical development of the survey instrument and the study design.