Do frequent satisfying trips by public transport impact its intended use in later life?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, ridership - attitudes, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice


Travel behaviour, Travel satisfaction, Habits, Public transport


Previous studies have indicated that factors such as the built environment, attitudes and past behaviour can influence travel behaviour. However, the possible effect of travel satisfaction on travel mode choice remains underexplored, despite many studies focusing on travel satisfaction over the past years. It is likely that individuals experiencing satisfying trips with a certain travel mode will use this mode (more) frequently for future trips. In this study—using data from 984 students from Laval University, Canada—we analyse how satisfaction with public transport and the frequency of public transport use affect the intention to use public transport in later life stages. Our results indicate that public transport frequency, public transport satisfaction and the interaction between these two factors (i.e., the frequency of (dis)satisfying public transport trips) significantly affect people’s intentions to use public transport in later life, although variations in effect sizes exist between different life stages. Making public transport more pleasant and increasing ridership of children and young adults (e.g., by giving them free public transport passes) may consequently result in a higher public transport frequency in later life stages. We argue that travel satisfaction can play an important role in the formation of habitual mode use, and that satisfying trips (if undertaken frequently) are likely to be repeated in the future.


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