A three-part field study of passenger activities (e.g. reading, writing, talking, sleeping) was conducted on intercity Amtrak trains in the northeastern United States to determine the relationships between the ride environment, subjective passenger comfort and satisfaction, and overt passenger behavior. From observations of 7000 revenue passengers over a one-year period, a stable relative frequency distribution of 12 categories of passenger activity in three effort classes was established. Reading and viewing were observed most often; handcrafts and games were seldom observed. An Amtrak survey of ride quality and activity preferences was also conducted using over 800 revenue Northeast Corridor passengers. Although passengers rated the ride as comfortable, ride motions were perceived to interfere with performance of visual/motor tasks (e.g., Reading and Writing). Passengers' preferences for activities were also found to increase with trip distance. In order to quantify ride quality/activity relationships, observations of passenger activity were made simultaneously with measurements of vibration in six degrees of freedom, acoustic noise, temperature, relative humidity, and illumination aboard 77 Amtrak vehicles. Correlational analysis revealed that rotational (rather than linear) motions were associated with low frequencies of motor and conversational activity and high levels of rest behavior. Activity levels also varied with vehicle type and time of day. Multiple regression techniques were used to develop linear equations of physical ride quality and trip variables which account for 20% of the variance in the relative frequencies of various types of activities.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway, Kendall Square
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142
  • Authors:
    • Wichansky, A M
  • Publication Date: 1979-1

Media Info

  • Pagination: 351 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00191734
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-TSC-RSPA-79-1 Final Rpt.
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 30 1979 12:00AM