From Travel Satisfaction to Transport Mode Choice: Evidence from a Smartphone Study

Authors: Huyen Le*, Virginia Tech, Ralph Buehler, Virginia Tech, Yingling Fan, University of Minnesota, Steve Hankey, Virginia Tech
Topics: Transportation Geography, Behavioral Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: transport, urban, satisfaction, emotions, mode choice, travel behavior
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Congressional B, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Consumer behavior research has shown that satisfaction impacts the choice of brands. Similar findings are shown in some transportation studies. For example, high satisfaction with public transit is related to loyal transit ridership. Yet, only a few studies have examined the effect of satisfaction on multimodal mode choice. This study aims to contribute additional evidence on the effect of travel satisfaction and travel liking attitude on mode choice for the commute. We conducted a one-week travel survey in the Roanoke-Blacksburg, VA and Washington, DC areas using a smartphone app from 2016 to 2018. The app is capable of GPS tracking and instantaneously recording satisfaction directly after each trip. Respondents were asked to complete the entry questionnaire, track their trips for one week, and answer the short post-trip survey for at least five trips of their choice. After data cleaning, the sample used for analysis consists of about 217 participants with 5,900 fully reported trips. We estimated a set of logit models for commute mode choice with and without satisfaction and travel attitude. Our results show that satisfaction with travel was significantly associated with mode choice decisions. These findings add further evidence for the role of satisfaction on choosing sustainable modes of transport. We suggested several strategies to increase satisfaction for these modes and discussed several policy implications of this study.

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