Extensive evidence has documented the moderating role of design attributes in crowding; yet, the effect of public transportation design on travel experience has been overlooked. We conducted a within-design experimental study aimed to estimate the buffering role of design resources in both subjective experience (crowding, pleasantness, stimulation, and dominance) and behavioral responses (patterns of eye movements) to crowded conditions on a bus. Three physical bus elements (seat demarcation, access to the window, outdoor surrounding) and their degree of supportiveness (poor, moderate, high) were manipulated. The results of Phase 1 (N = 80) and Phase 2 (N = 33) confirmed the beneficial moderating effect of the three physical components on crowding and their compensatory role. The adopted multimethodological approach confirmed to be an ecologically valid strategy for studying the effects of the physical environment on human behavior. Practical implications and directions for future research are discussed.
- emotional response
- public transportation