Impacts of symbolic value and passenger satisfaction on bus use

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - bus, mode - car, ridership - attitudes, ridership - commuting, ridership - mode choice, planning - surveys


Symbolic value, Passenger satisfaction, Bus use, Bus services, Public transit priority policy


Because of the symbolic value of the private car, driving a private car is a signal of wealth and a particular social status, but public transit is considered to be a means of transport for low- and middle-income people in the traditional culture of China, especially in face culture. Some prior studies have verified the impact of the symbolic value of the private car on car use and further indirectly speculated about its impact on public transit use, but these studies have seldom focused on the direct effect of the symbolic value of the private car on public transit use. Based on face-to-face questionnaire survey data from a sample of 323 commuters with experience using buses in Changzhou in 2016, this case study examines the relationship among the symbolic value of the private car and passenger satisfaction with bus services and bus use by using binary logit regression. The empirical results show a stable negative association between the symbolic value of the private car and bus use, while the passenger satisfaction with bus services is positively associated with bus use. These findings imply that improving the public transport services is important for the public transit priority policy, and the policy could be more effective if the Chinese traditional understandings of using public transit and private cars are changed.


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


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