Passenger thermal perceptions, thermal comfort requirements, and adaptations in short- and long-haul vehicles

Tzu Ping Lin, Ruey Lung Hwang, Kuo Tsang Huang, Chen Yi Sun, Ying Che Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


While thermal comfort in mass transportation vehicles is relevant to service quality and energy consumption, benchmarks for such comfort that reflect the thermal adaptations of passengers are currently lacking. This study reports a field experiment involving simultaneous physical measurements and a questionnaire survey, collecting data from 2,129 respondents, that evaluated thermal comfort in short- and long-haul buses and trains. Experimental results indicate that high air temperature, strong solar radiation, and low air movement explain why passengers feel thermally uncomfortable. The overall insulation of clothing worn by passengers and thermal adaptive behaviour in vehicles differ from those in their living and working spaces. Passengers in short-haul vehicles habitually adjust the air outlets to increase thermal comfort, while passengers in long-haul vehicles prefer to draw the drapes to reduce discomfort from extended exposure to solar radiation. The neutral temperatures for short- and long-haul vehicles are 26.2°C and 27.4°C, while the comfort zones are 22.4-28.9°C and 22.4-30.1°C, respectively. The results of this study provide a valuable reference for practitioners involved in determining the adequate control and management of in-vehicle thermal environments, as well as facilitating design of buses and trains, ultimately contributing to efforts to achieve a balance between the thermal comfort satisfaction of passengers and energy conserving measures for air-conditioning in mass transportation vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
JournalInternational journal of biometeorology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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