A people-environment framework in evaluating transport stress among rail commuters

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - mass transit, mode - rail, place - asia, place - urban, planning - service improvement, planning - surveys, ridership - commuting, ridership - perceptions


Perceived transport stress, Stressors, Commute, Rail, Public transport


Transport stress is a pervasive phenomenon in big cities, and can lead to various negative impacts on health and well-being. However, the associated stressors have not been clearly understood. This study proposes a people-environment framework, which incorporates personal stressors, environmental stressors, and travel impedance to capture the “total travel experience” of passengers. In the context of Hong Kong, an online questionnaire survey among Mass Transit Railway (MTR) passengers was conducted in 2021; a total of 629 responses were collected. A factor analysis and a multiple linear regression were conducted to examine the relationship between stressors and perceived transport stress. Apart from service unpredictability and crowding, poor station environment and uncomfortable train compartments are also major stressors. During the pandemic, the anxiety of being infected by COVID-19 is significantly associated with transport stress. The findings shed important light on alleviating transport stress through improving public transit environment by micro-management strategies.


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


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