Keeping track of time: A Smartphone-based analysis of travel time perception in a suburban environment

Xavier Delclòs-Alió, Oriol Marquet, Carme Miralles-Guasch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies In line with a growing interest in complementing surveys with tracking technologies, this paper aims to explore what differences between perceived and real travel time can be found by using a smartphone-based tracking application. This is justified based on the fact that self-reported trip durations in traditional mobility data sources are based on travelers’ memories and perceptions, which implies that these do not necessarily coincide with real or clock time. For this purpose, the daily commute to a suburban university campus in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region (Spain) is used as a case study. The app experiment points to a light under-perception of travel time, but further analyses show how misperceptions are especially related to the characteristics of this commute. Total trip duration has emerged as the main variable affecting the differences in reported and objective times, while different explanatory factors are suggested as accounting for the misperceptions of public transit riders and of those who drive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalTravel Behaviour and Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Barcelona
  • Perception
  • Smartphone tracking
  • Travel survey
  • Travel time

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