Unfolding the Dynamics of Transit Users' Satisfaction and Emotions: a Multi-Week Smartphone Study

Travel well-being, which has a direct effect on a person's overall subjective well-being, encompasses three dimensions: Cognitive judgments of satisfaction, positive emotions, and negative emotions. Most previous transit literature has focused either on satisfaction or emotions, generally in static contexts. Using a panel data set collected over several weeks from transit users in San Francisco, this study explores the dynamics of satisfaction and emotions. First, emotions and satisfaction experienced during travel are compared to measurements from retrospective surveys conducted at the beginning and the end of the study. Average levels of negative emotions are found to be lower on a daily basis than in retrospective surveys, and the latter align more with the highest reported level of negative emotion. Second, a dynamic panel model is estimated to determine how daily satisfaction is affected by emotions on that day and by satisfaction and emotions on the previous day. Lagged effects are found, suggesting that dissatisfaction and emotions experienced while riding transit may carry over to the following day, with the effects of satisfaction and emotions having opposite signs. Third, retrospective emotions for transit travel and car travel are compared. It is found that car travel often evokes higher positive emotions and lower negative emotions, however car trips are also more frustrating and stressful. The study provides evidence for the dynamic relationship between satisfaction and emotions. It also illustrates the need to enhance satisfaction and well-being of transit riders, who are often found to be the least satisfied among all transport users.

  • 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: 6p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697822
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-05752
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:38AM