Perceived vs. Actual Distance to Transit in Santiago, Chile

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - subway/metro, place - south america, ridership - behaviour, ridership - perceptions


Travel behavior, perceived distances, public transport, Latin America


To plan public transport supply and to increase transit patronage, it is indispensable to be aware of people’s perception of the actual supply, that is, how extensive and accurate people’s knowledge is regarding the concrete features of transport supply, such as the locations of transit stops, timetables, and fare structures. This paper addresses the gap between the perceived and real distances to transit stops. The comparison between the real and perceived supply shows a considerably accurate perception. Nevertheless, a pattern is apparent. Metro supply has a higher overestimation rate than buses, i.e., walking distances are perceived as significantly shorter than they actually are. These results suggest that the transport mode is correlated with perception. This mode has the best reputation in the studied city, in contradistinction to buses, whose reputation was heavily damaged by the public transit reform occurring at the time of the research.


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