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What influences satisfaction and loyalty in public transport? A review of the literature


  • Dea van Lierop
  • Madhav G. Badami
  • Ahmed M. El-Geneidy


Public transport ridership retention is a challenge for many cities. To develop comprehensive strategies aimed at retaining riders, it is necessary to understand the aspects of public transport that influence users to become loyal to the system. This paper analyses relevant literature regarding the causes of satisfaction and loyalty in public transport. We find that the service factors most associated with satisfaction are on-board cleanliness and comfort, courteous and helpful behaviour from operators, safety, as well as punctuality and frequency of service. On the other hand, loyalty is associated with users’ perceptions of value-for-money, on-board safety and cleanliness, interactions with personnel and the image and commitment to public transport that users feels. Furthermore, the results elucidate that the concept of loyalty is best defined based on users’ intentions to continue using the service, their willingness to recommend it to others, their overall satisfaction, but also and most importantly, their image of and involvement with public transport. Public transport users who have a positive image of the agency and consider public transport an integral component of city life are more likely to demonstrate loyalty and act like ambassadors for public transport agencies.

Suggested Citation

  • Dea van Lierop & Madhav G. Badami & Ahmed M. El-Geneidy, 2018. "What influences satisfaction and loyalty in public transport? A review of the literature," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 52-72, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:transr:v:38:y:2018:i:1:p:52-72
    DOI: 10.1080/01441647.2017.1298683

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. dell'Olio, Luigi & Ibeas, Angel & Cecin, Patricia, 2011. "The quality of service desired by public transport users," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 217-227, January.
    2. Cortés, Cristián E. & Jara-Moroni, Pedro & Moreno, Eduardo & Pineda, Cristobal, 2013. "Stochastic transit equilibrium," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 29-44.
    3. Carreira, Rui & Patrício, Lia & Natal Jorge, Renato & Magee, Chris, 2014. "Understanding the travel experience and its impact on attitudes, emotions and loyalty towards the transportation provider–A quantitative study with mid-distance bus trips," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 35-46.
    4. Mouwen, Arnoud, 2015. "Drivers of customer satisfaction with public transport services," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-20.
    5. Tyrinopoulos, Yannis & Antoniou, Constantinos, 2008. "Public transit user satisfaction: Variability and policy implications," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 260-272, July.
    6. Chakrabarti, Sandip & Giuliano, Genevieve, 2015. "Does service reliability determine transit patronage? Insights from the Los Angeles Metro bus system," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 12-20.
    7. Lai, Wen-Tai & Chen, Ching-Fu, 2011. "Behavioral intentions of public transit passengers--The roles of service quality, perceived value, satisfaction and involvement," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 318-325, March.
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    4. repec:eee:transa:v:117:y:2018:i:c:p:261-274 is not listed on IDEAS

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