Style versus Service? An Analysis of User Perceptions of Transit Stops and Stations

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - stop, operations - frequency, operations - reliability, place - north america, planning - personal safety/crime, infrastructure - station


reliability, frequency, transit travelers, transit stop


Transit travelers expend a great deal of time and energy on out-of-vehicle walking and waiting, which significantly affects their perceived burdens of travel. Accordingly, this article is concerned with ways to reduce the perceived burdens of out-of-vehicle time spent walking, waiting, and transferring to improve users’ experience at transit stops and stations. We surveyed 749 transit users at 12 transit stops and stations around metropolitan Los Angeles and found that the most important determinant of user satisfaction with a transit stop or station has little to do with the physical characteristics of the facility; instead, frequent, reliable service in an environment of personal safety matters most to riders. In other words, most transit users would prefer short, predictable waits for buses and trains in a safe, if simple or even dreary, environment over long waits for late-running vehicles in even the most elaborate and attractive transit station, especially if they fear for their safety.


Permission to publish abstract given by Journal of Public Transportation, copyright remains with them.