The Seamless Public Transport Journey: Affective and Instrumental
R Hickman, I Hamiduddin, P Hall, P Jones, C Osborne, University College London, UK
SYNAPTIC, a multinational project funded by the EU INTERREG IVB Programme, explores the relative importance of affective and instrumental factors by using an audit process to examine each journey stage from the perspective of different user groups.
Investment in public transport and other transport modes tends to be based largely on travel as an ‘instrumental’ experience; that is, in attempting to speed travel up, make more convenient, or try to change the cost of travel. The quality of the journey, particularly the ‘affective’ factors (such as happiness, ‘stress’ and wider experiential factors), are less understood in terms of their importance to travel. SYNAPTIC (Synergy of New Advanced Public Transport Solutions Improving Connectivity in North West Europe, http://www.synaptic-cluster.eu), a multinational project funded by the EU INTERREG IVB Programme, explores the relative importance of affective and instrumental factors by using an audit process to examine each journey stage from the perspective of different user groups.
The paper is based on a series of surveys of regional and international journeys carried out in North West Europe to reveal journey satisfaction by node/interchange and link (13 regional and 12 international journeys; 187 node surveys, 207 link surveys). The results have been used to inform a design exercise carried out on a key regional interchange (Preston, Lancashire) to highlight the potential for an enhanced passenger experience when journeying through the station. The interchange generally suffers from the weakest satisfaction scores, alongside access to and from the first and last node (typically the station), thus proving to be the ‘weakest link’ in the door-to-door journey. The findings can be important to interchange design and transit orientated development practice, and also appraisal, where affective factors in travel choice and experience can be given much greater weight in decision-making.
Association for European Transport