Publication Detail

What Makes Travel Pleasant and/or Tiring? An Investigation Based on the French National Travel Survey



Available online at: DOI: 10.1007/s11116-014-9557-y

Suggested Citation:
Mokhtarian, Patricia L., Francis Papon, Matthieu Goulard, Marco Diana (2015) What Makes Travel Pleasant and/or Tiring? An Investigation Based on the French National Travel Survey. Transportation 42 (6), 1103 - 1128

The 2007–2008 French National Travel Survey (FNTS) included questions about the trip experience for a random subsample of the respondents’ daily travel, offering a rare opportunity to examine a national profile of attitudes toward travel. This study analyzes the self-reported (mental and/or physical) fatigue associated with the selected trip, and its (un)pleasantness. Only 8 % of trips were tiring, and fewer than 4 % were unpleasant, indicating that travel is by no means universally distasteful. We present a bivariate probit model of the mental and physical fatigue associated with the trip, and binary logit models of whether the trip was pleasant (yes/no) or unpleasant (yes/no). For the most part, socioeconomic variables and indicators of trip length, distance, purpose, and mode have logical relationships to fatigue and pleasantness. However, 11 variables out of 31 common to both sets of models have impacts on fatigue that are opposite to those on un/pleasantness, pointing to conditions under which a trip can be fatiguing but pleasant, or conversely. Accordingly, a key contribution of the research is to demonstrate the value of jointly considering both constructs in order to more comprehensively capture the overall attitudes toward the travelling activity. It is also of interest that activities conducted during the trip appear in both sets of models. In particular, the results suggest that although listening to the radio/music decreases the tendency to rate the trip as mentally fatiguing, it tends to be seen as ameliorating the disutility of a tedious trip more than increasing the pleasantness of the trip. Among the policy-relevant findings, we note the especially negative attitudes towards multimodal trips and trips mainly involving driving cars.