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Travel Time Savings Perception and Well-Being through Public Transport Projects: The Case of Metro de Santiago

Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, London WC1H 0NN, UK
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Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010035
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
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Abstract

Relying mostly on travel time savings, cost-benefit analysis has been widely used in transport project appraisals in the Chilean context, with utility maximisation theory as its background. Nevertheless, subjective well-being advocates have challenged the notion of the rational man underlying this theory by proposing that other trip attributes, individual perceptions and personal features mediate satisfaction with travel, alongside global well-being. Using the recently-opened Line 6 of Metro de Santiago (Chile) as a case study, this research has two main aims: (1) to verify to what extent travel time savings, which support the cost-benefit analysis process, are present after the launching of the new line; and (2) analyse the perception of passengers’ travel time savings, and to what extent this element contributes to the travel satisfaction and to the global well-being at the individual level. Using passive data from smart cards, the results show that travel times decreased by 14% in comparable trips after the launching of Line 6. Furthermore, a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) construct is proposed, including travel and life satisfaction as latent variables of the model. This revealed that travel times in the Metro system are highly valued by people. However, this element does not mediate travel satisfaction, as users take low travel times for granted. Waiting times, stations’ design, safety and intermodality are perceived attributes that effectively mediate travel satisfaction. Moreover, the latter variable has a relevant influence on global life satisfaction, revealing that transport conditions mediate in day-to-day well-being. These results challenged travel time savings as the most important driver in transport projects’ appraisal processes, and some recommendations are made in order to incorporate these findings in future appraisals. View Full-Text
Keywords: subjective well-being; travel time savings; public transport well-being subjective well-being; travel time savings; public transport well-being
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Pineda, C.; Lira, B.M. Travel Time Savings Perception and Well-Being through Public Transport Projects: The Case of Metro de Santiago. Urban Sci. 2019, 3, 35.

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