Commuting trip satisfaction in Beijing: Exploring the influence of multimodal behavior and modal flexibility

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, ridership - attitudes, ridership - mode choice, ridership - commuting, ridership - behaviour


Trip satisfaction, Commute, Multimodality, Modal flexibility, Beijing


In the past decade, many studies have explored the relationship between travelers’ travel mode and their trip satisfaction. Various characteristics of the chosen travel modes have been found to influence trip experiences; however, apart from the chosen modes, travelers’ variability in mode use and their ability to vary have not been investigated in the trip satisfaction literature. This current paper presents an analysis of commuting trip satisfaction in Beijing with a particular focus on the influence of commuters’ multimodal behavior on multiple workdays and their modal flexibility for each commuting trip. Consistent with previous studies, we find that commuting trips by active modes are the most satisfying, followed by trips by car and public transport. In Beijing, public transport dominates. Urban residents increasingly acquire automobiles, but a strict vehicle policy has been implemented to restrict the use of private cars on workdays. In this comparatively constrained context for transport mode choice, we find a significant portion of commuters showing multimodal behavior. We also find that multimodal commuters tend to feel less satisfied with trips by alternative modes compared with monomodal commuters, which is probably related to their undesirable deviation from habitual transport modes. Furthermore, the relationship between modal flexibility and trip satisfaction is not linear, but U-shaped. Commuters with high flexibility are generally most satisfied because there is a higher possibility for them to choose their mode of transport out of preference. Very inflexible commuters can also reach a relatively high satisfaction level, however, which is probably caused by their lower expectations beforehand and the fact that they did not have an alternative to regret in trip satisfaction assessments.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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