Validating the Satisfaction with Travel Scale as a Measure of Hedonic Subjective Well-Being for Commuting in a U.S. City

The relationships between transportation and well-being are of increasing interest to researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. Psychological scales exist for measuring subjective well-being (SWB), but these instruments have rarely been applied to the travel domain. The Satisfaction with Travel Scale (STS) has been developed as a nine-item measure of travel-related hedonic SWB, capturing positive and negative affect (emotions) and cognitive evaluations of overall satisfaction associated with personal transportation. Although the STS has been applied in an increasing number of studies, questions regarding its structure and validity remain. This research used a survey of 654 commuters in the Portland, Oregon, area to investigate the measurement properties of a slightly modified version of the STS. Confirmatory factor analysis suggested a three-factor structure—composed of positive deactivation, positive activation, and cognitive evaluation—that matches some previous results and SWB theory; a model with a single second-order factor also fit the data. Tests of measurement invariance across three travel modes (automobile, transit, and walk/bicycle) found that the STS exhibited configural and perhaps weak but not strong factorial invariance; non-motorized commuters tended to have more positive scores. Future research can continue to refine the STS items and wordings, test the scale in various geographic and travel contexts, and examine relationships between SWB and travel behavior.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ADD50 Standing Committee on Environmental Justice in Transportation.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 9p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697797
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-00888
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:37AM