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The quality of service desired by public transport users

  • dell'Olio, Luigi
  • Ibeas, Angel
  • Cecin, Patricia
Registered author(s):

    This article describes the methodology used to study the quality of service desired by users of a public transport system. The desired quality is different from the perceived quality because it does not represent the daily experiences of the users, but rather what they desire, hope for or expect from their public transport system. This is why it is important to study the desired quality, knowledge of which gives local authorities the background information for personalised marketing policies based on the user's requirements rather than their daily perceptions. The methodology goes through several stages, such as the use of focus groups to choose the most important variables for the users, the design and use of unlabelled stated preferences surveys and the calibration of discrete choice models. All of these help determine the weight of the most relevant variables. The analysis is carried out with different categories of users and potential users (those people not currently using public transport). Waiting time, cleanliness and comfort are shown to be the public transport variables that users most valued, but the degree to which they are valued varies according to the category of user. Variables such as driver kindness, bus occupancy and journey time are generally given less weight. The first two vary little by user category, but some variability appears for journey time. For potential users the more important variables when defining expected quality from public transport are waiting time, journey time and above all, level of occupancy. They consider the other variables to be of little importance when defining an efficient public transport service. In order to improve service quality and attract more passengers to public transport in general, the application of this methodology provides the authorities and operating companies with useful information to plan personalised marketing policies specifically directed at different categories of users and potential users of public transport.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VGG-50X5638-2/2/1f2f18e5ccb37f394fcd831b8a191856
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transport Policy.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 217-227

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:18:y:2011:i:1:p:217-227
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    1. Powe, N.A. & Garrod, G.D. & McMahon, P.L., 2005. "Mixing methods within stated preference environmental valuation: choice experiments and post-questionnaire qualitative analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 513-526, March.
    2. Hensher, David A. & Stopher, Peter & Bullock, Philip, 2003. "Service quality--developing a service quality index in the provision of commercial bus contracts," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 499-517, July.
    3. Hensher, David A. & Stanley, John, 2003. "Performance-based quality contracts in bus service provision," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 519-538, July.
    4. Luis I. Rizzi & Juan de Dios Ort�zar, 2006. "Road Safety Valuation under a Stated Choice Framework," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 40(1), pages 69-94, January.
    5. Rose, John M. & Bliemer, Michiel C.J. & Hensher, David A. & Collins, Andrew T., 2008. "Designing efficient stated choice experiments in the presence of reference alternatives," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 395-406, May.
    6. Hensher, David A. & Houghton, Erne, 2004. "Performance-based quality contracts for the bus sector: delivering social and commercial value for money," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 123-146, February.
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