Investigating commute satisfaction differences of private car users and public transport users in a developing country context

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - universities, mode - car, mode - bus, ridership - commuting, ridership - perceptions, planning - surveys


Commuter satisfaction, Private car, Public transport, Remembered satisfaction, Actual satisfaction


The objective of this paper is to investigate commute satisfaction differences across car users and public transport (PT) users in a developing country context. Using survey data of the students and staff of the American University of Beirut, we estimate two ordinal logit models in order to predict three satisfaction measures: car users’ satisfaction with their current commute using the car, car users’ Remembered satisfaction using PT, and car users’ actual satisfaction with commuting by PT if they were to regularly commute by PT, with the latter model estimated on a sample of regular PT users. Using the three predicted measures, we compare the satisfaction of car users with car to their satisfaction with an infrequent public transport commute during the past year as well as to their predicted satisfaction with regular PT use. We also compare the latter two measures: satisfaction with (infrequent) PT commute of car users to predicted satisfaction with regular PT use. Results reveal that car users are significantly more satisfied with using the car than using PT (whether infrequent or regular). We also find that the Remembered satisfaction of car users with PT is significantly less than the actual PT satisfaction of car users if they were to become regular PT users. In the last part of the paper, we provide a number of potential explanations for these differences and discuss the policy implications.


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