A program for the development of ride-quality vibration criteria applicable to the design and evaluation of air and surface transportation systems is described. Consideration is given to the magnitude of vehicle vibration experienced by the passenger, the frequency of vibration, the direction of vibration, and the influence of seat dynamics on passenger response. Comparative vibration measurements are presented for a variety of air and surface transportation systems. In addition, simulator data on seat dynamics and passenger response are presented. Results suggest the relative merits of various physical descriptors and measurement locations for characterizing the vibration in terms suitable for the design and/or evaluation of transportation systems.