What factors determine metro passengers’ risky riding behavior? An approach based on an extended theory of planned behavior

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - subway/metro, ridership - behaviour, ridership - perceptions, planning - safety/accidents


Theory of planned behavior, Metro passengers, Risky riding, Beliefs, Interventions


In China metro interruptions and casualties are largely attributable to incidents involving passengers. The present study examined metro passengers’ motivations to ride in potentially risky ways by focusing on belief-based measures of the theory of planned behavior (TPB), supplemented with several variables expected to be predictive. A survey based on this extended TPB, operationalized with respect to last-second riding, pushy riding and door-forcing scenarios, was conducted on a sample of regular passengers (N = 576, 576 and 571, respectively). In support of the TPB, after controlling for the effects of passengers’ characteristics, the behavioral, normative and control beliefs accounted for a significant part of the variance in intentions to ride dangerously as depicted in the scenarios, with behavioral beliefs and control beliefs being consistently predictive across the behaviors. The inclusion of moral norms, past behavior, perceived risk and self-identity resulted in a significant increment in explained variance for each intention investigated, with past behavior being consistently predictive while moral norms and perceived risk showing significance in some scenarios and self-identity being consistently insignificant across the behaviors. Further, an extensive set of belief targets for metro safety interventions were identified by selecting those beliefs that differed most between those who intended to commit risky riding and those who did not. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed from the perspective of reducing passengers’ risky riding tendencies.


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


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