Multitasking on the go: An observation study on local public transport in Brussels

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13 Citaten (Scopus)


This paper presents the results of an observational survey carried out on public transport vehicles in Brussels. The aim was to identify if the mode of transport, travel distance, level of crowdedness, the proportion of underground sections and demographic characteristics of passengers have an impact on the type of activities performed on board with special attention to the frequency of the use of ICT devices. Structured observation was used to conduct the survey of 1214 passengers in May 2016. The data was analysed using Pearson's χ 2-test, multinomial and generalised ordinal logistic regression. The results show that the range of multitasking activities is not significantly different on buses, trams and metros. We show that it is travel distance, the presence of travel companion and socio-demographic characteristics (age, gender) that are more important determinants of multitasking activities and the frequency of ICT use than travel mode itself in this specific urban context. Contrary to previous research, the crowdedness of the vehicle (although only measured outside peak hours) was not found to be a significant determinant of on-board activities, nor was the proportion of underground sections. Our results confirm that passengers already start carrying out active activities after travelling just one stop and the proportion of active activities significantly increases with travel distance. We compared the prevalence of multitasking activities to similar surveys and found indications of increasing ICT use over time, although considering smartphone penetration in Belgium the potentials of using ICT on board have not been exhausted yet.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)106-116
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftTravel Behaviour and Society
StatusPublished - jan 2020

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies

Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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