Master of Science (MSc)
Geography & Environmental Studies
Faculty of Arts
Dr. Sean T. Doherty
Dr. Barbara Carmichael
High-density urban environments are susceptible to ever-growing traffic congestion issues, which speaks to the importance of implementing and maintaining effective and sustainable transportation networks. While transit oriented developments offer the potential to help mitigate traffic congestion issues, transit networks ought to be safe and reliable for ideal transit-user communities. As such, it is imperative to capture meaningful data regarding transit experiences, and deduce how transit networks can be enhanced or modified to continually maintain ideal transit experiences. Historically speaking, it has been relatively tricky to measure how people feel whilst using public transportation, without leaning on recall memory to explain such phenomena. Recall memory can be vague and is often less detailed than recording in-situ observations of the transit-user community. This thesis explores the feasibility of using smartphones to capture meaningful in-situ data to leverage the benefits of the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), while also addressing some limitations. Students travelled along Grand River Transit bus routes in Waterloo, Ontario from Wilfrid Laurier University to Conestoga Mall and back using alternate routes. The mobile survey captured qualitative and quantitative data from 145 students to explore variations in wellbeing, and the extent to which environmental variables can influence transit experiences. There were many findings to consider for future research, especially the overall role anxiety played on transit experiences. In addition, the results indicate that the methodology is appropriate for further research, and can be applied to a wide range of research topics. In particular, it is recommended that a similar study be applied to a much larger, and more representative sample of the transit-user community. Future considerations are discussed as key considerations to leverage the benefits of ESM research, and the promise it can bring towards the enhancement of transit experiences and the cohesion of transit-user communities.
Said, Rafik and Said, Rafik, "Capturing in-situ Feelings and Experiences of Public Transit Riders Using Smartphones" (2017). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 1995.