Do commuters adapt to in-vehicle crowding on trains?

Junya Kumagai, Mihoko Wakamatsu, Shunsuke Managi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In-vehicle crowding on public transportation is a serious problem that transportation planners must address. Recent studies have emphasized that in-vehicle crowding impacts travelers’ stress and health, while other studies have investigated how daily travel affects subjective well-being (SWB). Based on the findings of these studies, we provide useful insights into the value of a reduction in crowding in terms of SWB. The other factor we should consider is adaptation, as the effects of travel discomfort disappear after travelers become accustomed to them. In this paper, we analyzed the direct and stress-related indirect effects of dissatisfaction with in-vehicle crowding on life satisfaction, focusing on whether these effects differ by the length of time commuters have been using trains. Using a sample of 8296 train commuters in Tokyo, we found that (1) dissatisfaction with in-vehicle crowding directly lowers life satisfaction among some groups of short-term train commuters and (2) dissatisfaction with in-vehicle crowding indirectly lowers life satisfaction through stress and health, regardless of whether commuters have used trains for more or less than one year. These results revealed the importance of focusing on the stress-related indirect effects of dissatisfaction with crowding, while direct effects on SWB exist only among some commuters. Our results demonstrated the possibility of adaptation to direct effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2357-2399
Number of pages43
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation


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