Waiting and transferring in transit travel are often perceived negatively and can be significant obstacles to mode shifts between automobile to transit. High-amenity stations, transit centers served by multiple routes and multimodal hubs are becoming increasingly popular as strategies for mitigating transit users' aversion to waiting and transferring. However, beyond recent evidence that realtime departure information reduces perceived waiting time, there is limited empirical evidence as to which other specific station and stop amenities can effectively influence user perceptions of waiting time. To address this knowledge gap, the authors conducted a passenger survey and video-recorded waiting passengers at different types of transit stops and stations to investigate the impacts of various station characteristics on transit users' perceptions of waiting and transferring time, controlling for weather and time of day. The authors employ regression analysis to explain the variation in riders' waiting time estimates as a function of their objectively observed waiting times, as well as station and stop amenities, while controlling for weather, time of day, self-reported and observed socio-demographic characteristics and trip characteristics. Based on the results, waits at stops with no amenities are perceived as twice as long or longer than they actually are. Benches, shelters and realtime departure information signs significantly reduce perceived waiting times. A complete package of all three nearly erases the time perception penalty of waiting. Women waiting in surroundings perceived to be insecure report waits as dramatically longer than they really are, and longer than do men and/or respondents in surroundings perceived to be secure. However, the provision of stop amenities significantly reduces this disparity. The authors recommend a focus on providing basic stop amenities as broadly as possible, continued exploration of methods for communicating arrival information and a particular focus on stops in less safe areas for improvements.
Fan, Y., A. Guthrie, and D. Levinson (2016) Waiting time perceptions at transit stops and stations: Effects of basic amenities, gender, and security. Transportation Research A. 88 251–264
Nexus Working Papers;
Fan, Yingling; Guthrie, Andrew; Levinson, David M.
Waiting time perceptions at transit stops and stations: Effects of basic amenities, gender, and security.
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