Residential relocation and travel satisfaction change: An empirical study in Beijing, China

Fenglong Wang, Zidan Mao*, Donggen Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Despite increasing interests in travel-related subjective well-being in transport research, few studies have explored the effects of residential environment on travel satisfaction, especially how travel satisfaction may change after residential relocation. This study investigates whether and how residential relocation leads to changes in travel satisfaction. Using a two-wave questionnaire survey conducted from 2011 to 2013 in Beijing, we compare home movers’ travel satisfaction before and after residential relocation, and further examine how changes in the built environment and that in travel behavior lead to changes in travel satisfaction, taking into consideration the travel-related motivation for home relocation. We find that almost 70% movers reported improvement in travel satisfaction after relocation, suggesting that residential relocation may serve as an opportunity to enhance travel satisfaction; improved neighborhood environments explain increases in travel satisfaction: higher accessibility to facilities, better physical design, enhanced safety and more interactions between neighbors contribute to improved travel satisfaction. On the other hand, increased travel time by transit reduces travel satisfaction. We also find out that relocation motivated by travel-related reasons did not lead to a significant improvement in travel satisfaction. This study contributes to the literature by appreciating the role of neighborhood environment in improving travel experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-353
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research

User-Defined Keywords

  • Built environment
  • Longitudinal study
  • Residential relocation
  • Travel behavior
  • Travel satisfaction change


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