Analyzing and Assessing the Experience of Traveling by Public Transport

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - attitudes, ridership - perceptions, ridership - mode choice, planning - service rationalisation


travel experience, service planning, transport services, user groups


The experience of traveling (as an aggregate of sensory impressions in relation to social and psychological needs) has so far rarely been considered as a factor influencing travel and modal choice. This paper proposes a practical way to disaggregate the “travel experience” into its separate components and suggests a procedure to assess the “experiential qualities” of (mainly public) transport services. This assessment allows planners to compare different user groups’ expectations as well as the provider’s strategic objectives. The procedure then is discussed in relation to several recent strands of transport/mobility research that are approaching the travel experience from different points of view. The discussion concludes that much of this recent work has analytical objectives, whereas the present procedure is oriented towards the practical, service planning, and development context. However, the various concepts should be seen as complementary rather than competing, and there is much potential for mutual learning in further developments.


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