Understanding public transport satisfaction in post COVID-19 pandemic

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, ridership - perceptions, planning - personal safety/crime


Public transportCOVID-19 pandemic, Satisfaction, Psychological distance, State anxiety, Information attention


The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic will linger for an extended period, although it is under control and public transport is gradually resuming its operations. However, there is limited understanding of passengers' construal regarding this public health crisis and their perceptions of safety and feelings of satisfaction toward public transport after suffering through the spread of such an infectious disease. Therefore, the aim of this research is to understand passengers' psychological responses to the pandemic over time in terms of their emotional arousal and mental construal, as public transport begins to resume its operations with the pandemic almost entirely contained. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in eight cities of China where the public transport system had been temporally closed because of the pandemic. The results indicated that (1) passengers' feelings of safety enhanced their overall satisfaction with regard to public transport, (2) state anxiety has a negative effect on perceived safety, (3) state anxiety increases as passengers are psychologically closer to the pandemic, and (4) passengers pay more attention to information that is psychologically closer to the pandemic and perceive lesser safety on public transport. These findings not only reveal the internal mechanisms behind how passengers perceive safety but may also provide significant information for future disaster emergency management. Based on the results, some feasible suggestions are proposed to avoid the loss of ridership and help public transport systems recover from the crisis.


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


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