How does travel satisfaction sum up? An exploratory analysis in decomposing the door-to-door experience for multimodal trips

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - methods, ridership - perceptions


Customer satisfaction, Public transport, Trip legs, Multimodal trips


Understanding how satisfaction with individual trip legs aggregates to the overall travel experience for different types of trips will enable the identification of the trip legs that are most impactful. For this purpose we analyze data on retrospective evaluations of entire multi-modal trip experiences and satisfaction with individual trip legs. We formulate and describe alternative aggregation rules and underpin them in theory and previous empirical findings. The results of a series of regression models show that for a large number of multi-modal trip configurations normative rules can better reproduce overall travel satisfaction than heuristic rules. This indicates that all trip legs need to be considered when evaluating the overall travel experience, especially for trips legs involving waiting and/or transferring time. In particular, weighting satisfaction with individual trip legs with perceived trip leg durations yielded the best predictor of overall travel satisfaction. No evidence for a disproportional effect of the last or most exceptional part of the trip was found. However, a larger dataset would be needed in order to replicate this work and potentially generalize the results. This research contributes to the literature on combining multi-episodic experiences and provides novel empirical evidence in the transport domain.


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