Perceived and actual travel times in a multi-modal urban public transport network: comparing survey and AVL data

Ties Brands*, Malvika Dixit, Edgard Zúñiga, Niels van Oort

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Perceived travel times of travelers are usually longer than actually realized travel times, implying that passengers’ experience of travel time savings is different from objectively calculated savings. This study provides additional empirical evidence on this topic, by comparing the passengers’ perceived travel times reported in an (online) survey with their corresponding actual in-vehicle travel times from Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) data. The case study involves the metro, tram and bus network of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. On average, travelers perceive their travel time to be 1.9 min (11%) longer than their actual realized travel time. The perceived values match the scheduled values slightly better than the actually realized values. Furthermore, we found a larger travel time over-perception for metro compared to tram and bus. This is a counter-intuitive result, since the metro has been found to have a less negative travel time perception than busses in the public transport choice modelling literature. When the travel purpose is considered, the leisure time purposes recreation and shopping have a significantly smaller travel time over-perception than work-related journeys. Opening a new metro line did not have a significant influence on the travel time perception of travelers in Amsterdam.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-103
Number of pages19
JournalPublic Transport
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Travel survey data
  • Travel time perception
  • Urban public transport
  • Vehicle location data


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