Who Doesn’t Mind Waiting? A Revealed Preference Study of Northern California Commuters

Waiting, whether for services, for someone, or for something, is an inescapable part of life. This paper addresses a gap in the waiting time literature by examining previously sparsely studied relationships between individuals’ characteristics and attitudes toward waiting using a revealed preference dataset of Northern California commuters (N = 2617). Correlational analyses, followed by a trivariate seemingly unrelated regression equations (SURE) model, are developed for three waiting constructs: general tolerance toward waiting, and attitudes toward equipped and expected waiting. Attributes ranging from sociodemographic characteristics and personality traits, to multitasking attitudes (polychronicity), commute preferences and expectations, time use patterns, and general attitudes, are all seen to have significant effects on waiting attitudes. As this survey was executed on commuters, it also facilitates a unique simultaneous exploration of travel and wait time attributes. From this perspective, longer commute times and distances are correlated with negative attitudes toward waiting, while commuters with pro-transit, pro-density, and pro-active transportation attitudes tend to have positive attitudes toward waiting. Overall, this study constitutes a distinctive contribution to the waiting time literature, capitalizing on a rich dataset to make important connections between related time uses and a multitude of other variables – key among them polychronicity, with its potential ability to reduce the negative perception and experience of waiting. Findings from this study may also benefit transportation and other service providers by facilitating an understanding of how various consumer groups/demographics view waiting, thus enabling providers to better cater to diverse needs and populations.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ADB10 Standing Committee on Traveler Behavior and Values.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Shaw, F Atiyya
    • Malokin, Aliaksandr
    • Mokhtarian, Patricia L
    • Circella, Giovanni
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 8p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697612
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-03437
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:32AM