, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 251–268 | Cite as

Passengers’ activities during short trips on the London Underground

  • Luciano Gamberini
  • Anna SpagnolliEmail author
  • Andrea Miotto
  • Eva Ferrari
  • Nicola Corradi
  • Sarah Furlan


The present study considers underground passengers and investigates the ways in which they spend their time during a trip of average length or shorter. Using a structured procedure that had been refined after a preliminary study, more than 1,700 passengers were observed in London. The results showed that even when the length of travel is very short (2–6 stops), underground passengers engage in several occupations, especially those involving the use of mobile Information and Communication Technologies. These occupations depend on the specific spatial and temporal conditions of the travel, as well as on gender and age. These results should be useful in designing travel services that enhance passengers’ experiences; they also suggest a criterion for comparing trips using different transportation modes (i.e., looking at the time point during the trip at which the ratio of active versus passive occupations changes).


Underground Travel experience Mobile information and communication technologies 



The authors would like to thank Patricia Mokhtarian and the three anonymous reviewers for the quality of the feedback provided to earlier versions of this paper and for the thoughtfulness of their comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciano Gamberini
    • 1
  • Anna Spagnolli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrea Miotto
    • 2
  • Eva Ferrari
    • 2
  • Nicola Corradi
    • 1
  • Sarah Furlan
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Human Technologies Laboratories (HTLab), Department of General PsychologyUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentGoldsmiths University of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Social and Developmental PsychologyUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly

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