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The best of times and the worst of times: A new best–worst measure of attitudes toward public transport experiences


  • Beck, Matthew J.
  • Rose, John M.


Attitudes play an important role in determining individual transit behaviour and the measurement of attitudes is relied on by public transit authorities’ world over. Given their role in behaviour and policy making, the accurate measurement of attitudes is of critical importance. Traditional satisfaction scales are prone to bias and on their own they are only a partial measure of attitudes. Given that satisfaction scales have been used to assist with large scale transport infrastructure investment decisions, to aid policy makers examining reactions to alternative policy changes and reform, and to measure the success of new initiatives, deriving robust satisfaction scales should be of critical importance. This paper introduces a dual version of best–worst scaling as an alternative measure of satisfaction. Best–worst scaling is free of the biases inherent in traditional response scales and is ideal for handling the comparative evaluation of large amount of attributes, particularly those which are inherently qualitative. The paper makes a further innovative contribution by proposing a model structure for the joint estimation of satisfaction and importance. Our model shows a better delineation between the attributes used to measure attitudes towards bus use and a more detailed understanding of the relationship between importance and satisfaction; enabling transport operators to better understand what counts most and assess their performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Beck, Matthew J. & Rose, John M., 2016. "The best of times and the worst of times: A new best–worst measure of attitudes toward public transport experiences," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 108-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:86:y:2016:i:c:p:108-123
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2016.02.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zhang, Kai & Zhou, Kan & Zhang, Fangzhou, 2014. "Evaluating bus transit performance of Chinese cities: Developing an overall bus comfort model," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 105-112.
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    6. Bouf, Dominique & Hensher, David A., 2007. "The dark side of making transit irresistible: The example of France," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 523-532, November.
    7. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387.
    8. Hess, Stephane & Rose, John M. & Hensher, David A., 2008. "Asymmetric preference formation in willingness to pay estimates in discrete choice models," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 847-863, September.
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