Transport infrastructure and network planning must now consider oil shocks and future demand growth for more energy efficient transport modes. However, data and models for this type of fuel reduction planning are not available. Travel adaptive capacity is proposed as a measure of the resilience of travel demand to a reduction in fuel use for personal vehicle trips while not reducing participation in activities. Travel adaptive potential characterises the ways that populations can change modes to reduce fuel use without reducing participation in activities. The travel adaptive capacity assessment (TACA) survey can capture the data needed to assess adaptive capacity and the preferred mode alternatives. The survey asks for the essentiality of each trip and the alternative travel modes currently available. TACA surveys were carried out in Christchurch, Oamaru and Dunedin. Over 550 participants completed the survey in 2008–10. The survey participant demographics, trip generation and mode data compared well with government data. The report found that for these three South Island centres, some adaptive capacity is possible, with Christchurch participants showing the greatest adaptive capacity. The TACA survey is a useful tool for further research into travel behaviour and mode choice.