Travel Satisfaction and Well-Being

  • Patricia L. Mokhtarian
  • Ram M. Pendyala
Part of the Applying Quality of Life Research book series (BEPR)


One approach to assessing the quality of life associated with a person’s daily travel is to obtain a summary judgment of that individual’s satisfaction with travel. Such a judgment could be considered a measure of the transportation-domain-specific subjective well-being (SWB). A number of such summary measures have been developed, including happiness, liking, pleasantness, a subjective valuation of the time spent traveling, and two different Satisfaction with Travel Scales (STS). In this chapter, we discuss some of the conceptual differences among these various measures, and review some key empirical results associated with them. In particular, we conceive of travel satisfaction as being directly influenced by five components of travel, as well as by socio-economic/demographic (SED) traits, attitudes, and trip-/travel-related characteristics. The chapter includes an analysis of data drawn from the well-being module of the 2013 American Time Use Survey (ATUS), to offer preliminary insights into how people feel about their travel episodes, differences in travel-related emotions across socio-economic groups, and how travel compares with other activities in terms of engendering feelings of well-being. We follow with a discussion of the relationship of travel satisfaction to overall well-being, and conclude with some brief reflections on the role of this research domain in our rapidly changing transportation milieu.


Activities while traveling American Time Use Survey (ATUS) Positive utility of travel Quality of life Satisfaction with travel Service quality Subjective well-being Travel experience 



The authors thank Venu Garikapati of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for his assistance in compiling tabulations of emotional measures using data from the 2013 well-being module of the American Time Use Survey Data. The authors also gratefully acknowledge partial support provided by the Center for Teaching Old Models New Tricks (TOMNET), a University Transportation Center sponsored by the US Department of Transportation through Grant No. 69A3551747116.


Service Quality-Based Satisfaction Measures

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Subjective Well-Being-Based Satisfaction Measures

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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