The impacts of varying survey design on reported trip satisfaction

Research has shown that the way in which a question was asked or the order it was received in can influence the answer of the respondent. Surveys are frequently used by transport professionals to better understand satisfaction with travel. Due to the importance of travel satisfaction for decision making, accurate perceptions of travel is vital to guide analyses. The present study uses satisfaction with travel data collected through a university travel survey, which was carried out during the fall and winter of 2017/2018, to examine the effects of seasonality, question wording, and question order on travel satisfaction. To test for question wording and seasonality, respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with their last trip and satisfaction with their typical commute to work or school under either warm and sunny or cold and snowy conditions, depending on season of survey completion. To test the effect of question order, respondents were randomly assigned one of two survey versions where the order in which the two trip satisfaction questions were asked was switched. The authors' results confirm the presence of question order and wording effects on reported satisfaction, and to a lesser degree differences in trip satisfaction due to seasonality. Results of this study highlight the need to practice caution when designing travel surveys, particularly with respect to how transport survey respondents are impacted by seasonality, question wording and order. Findings of this study have implications for policy makers and transport planners who regularly conduct or are interested in conducting transport related surveys.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ABJ40 Standing Committee on Travel Survey Methods.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Gris�, Emily
    • Cui, Boer
    • Turim, Anders
    • Manaugh, Kevin
    • El-Geneidy, Ahmed
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697677
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-06053
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 1 2019 3:51PM