The influence of ambient scent on the passengers’ experience, emotions and behavioral intentions: An experimental study in a Public Bus service

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, ridership - perceptions, ridership - behaviour, ridership - attitudes


Ambient scent, Emotions, Experimental research, Future behavioral intentions, Public bus, Travel experience


The service experience, which comprises cognitive, emotional and sensory assessments, is important to encourage a modal shift from the private vehicle to public transport services use. However, knowledge on the effect of sensory cues, specifically ambient scent, on the consumer experience in olfactory-rich servicescapes, as public transport services, is still limited. This study conducted a field experiment within a public bus service, to explore the influence of ambient scent on the relationship between the perceived travel experience and emotions; and between emotions and travel memory, the attitude toward the company's brand and passengers' future behavioral intentions. The results show that ambient scent strengthens these relationships. The stronger influences of ambient scent were found on the relationships between travel experience and emotions, emotions and memory, and emotions and passengers' future behavioral intentions. While adding to the scant knowledge on the topic, the results also suggest that ambient scent, as a marketing tool, should be looked at with closer attention by public transport managers.


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


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