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Satisfaction with Public Transport Trips
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, System Analysis and Economics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9875-3980
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Continuous urban growth, environmental issues, competition for limited space, longer commuting distances as well as the need to promote equity and equality in society are the primary reasons that make the improvement of public transport (PT) services a key policy area in many countries across the globe. Travel satisfaction measures the perceived quality of the PT service and it is an important aspect that operators and PT authorities need to consider when improving the service offered.Desk research identified a number of important issues that previous studies had neglected. These knowledge gaps include the investigation of: (a) the evolution over time of the determinants (service attributes) of travel satisfaction, (b) the main determinants of travel satisfaction for different traveler segments and travel modes; (c) the most relevant part of door-to-door trips for different types of trip configurations; (d) the impact on the travel experience of weather, accessibility and proximity measures and built-environment characteristics of the first mile of the trip; (e) the [non]linear and [a]symmetric nature of the relationship between PT service attributes and overall travel satisfaction for different travelers and travel modes.The five papers included in this doctoral thesis present an array of approaches and methodologies aiming at increasing overall travel satisfaction with PT services while covering the knowledge gaps that previous research failed to address.Paper I, investigates the determinants of PT satisfaction and their evolution over time (2001-2013). The results show that: a) customer interface and operation, and at a lesser extent trip duration are the quality of service attributes that need to be prioritized; b) while satisfaction, in general, remains rather constant, relative importance fluctuates year after year. However, the QoSAs remain in the same quadrant of the priority map and thus the determinants of travel satisfaction stay invariable.Paper II, reduces the diversity of needs and priorities of Swedish travelers to 5 distinctive multi-modal travelers’ segments. Considering the importance attached to service attributes, these travelers’ segments exhibit geographical disparities and in between-groups overall similarity. Nevertheless, some noticeable differences can be observed. Service attributes’ importance levels reveal overall changes in appreciations and consumption goals over time. The more frequent PT user segments are more satisfied across the board and are characterized by a more balanced distribution of attribute importance while one of the groups - rural motorist commuters - is markedly dissatisfied with the service operation attributes.Paper III, first aims to understand how travelers combine trip legs’ satisfactions into an overall evaluation of their trip, and then to investigate the relative importance of satisfaction with access, main and egress segments for the entire door-to-door travel experience. A number of both normative and heuristic satisfaction aggregation rules are tested for different types of trip configurations. The results show that normative rules can better reproduce overall travel satisfaction than heuristic rules, indicating that all trip legs need to be considered when evaluating the overall travel experience. In particular, weighting satisfaction with individual trip legs with perceived trip leg durations yield the best predictor of overall travel satisfaction, especially when applying a penalty for each waiting time of 3 or 4 times in- vehicle or walking time.Paper IV, investigates the impact that built-environment, accessibility and weather characteristics from the access stage of the trip have on the overall travel experience. This is done in two geographical contexts (urban and peri-urban and rural) and with models regarding the last and the overall trips. The results indicate that perceptual and non-perceptual built-environment variables have a rather weak effect in the overall satisfaction. Safety feelings around PT stations/stops have an effect on the overall travel experience while safety feelings related to travelers’ neighborhood of residence have none. Accessibility results indicate that living in an area that is well-connected to all other areas, and in particular to the attractive ones, has a positive impact on the overall travel experience. Most of the tested weather conditions at the time of the start of the trip exert an impact on travel satisfaction.Based on the three-factor theory, Paper V classifies quality of service attributes regarding their influence (positive, negative or both) on overall travel satisfaction. The analysis is done for different traveler segments and travel modes and presented in the form of a series of three-level cubes. For a general travel, attributes that can mainly bring dissatisfaction when they are not well-provided are, staff and assistance and ticket accessibility (basic factor). These are followed by attributes that can provide both satisfaction and dissatisfaction in a similar way and depending on their performance level (performance factor). Performance attributes are related to operational aspects (trip duration and operation) and safety perceptions while traveling. Quality of service attributes that can mainly bring satisfaction when they are well provided are network and on-board conditions (exciting factor). Important differences are found in the attribute factor classification between travel modes and segments which indicates that a “one size fits all” approach is not recommendable to adopt.This set of papers can help authorities to better evaluate and cater for travelers’ needs by supporting the allocation of resources and prioritizing policy measures in the most impactful part of the door-to-door trip and to the most important factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2019. , p. 41
Series
TRITA-ABE-DLT ; 1841
Keywords [en]
customer satisfaction, public transport, three-factor theory, accessibility, built-environment, weather, door-to-door trips, firs and last-mile, market segmentation, geographical variations, service quality, safety perceptions, temporal variations
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-240428ISBN: 978-91-7873-041-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-240428DiVA, id: diva2:1272349
Public defence
2019-02-04, L1, Drottning Kristinas Väg 30, 3d floor, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Stockholm County Council, 20160903
Note

QC 20181218

Available from: 2018-12-19 Created: 2018-12-19 Last updated: 2018-12-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Evolution of Satisfaction with Public Transport and Its Determinants in Sweden Identifying Priority Areas
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evolution of Satisfaction with Public Transport and Its Determinants in Sweden Identifying Priority Areas
2015 (English)In: Transportation Research Record, ISSN 0361-1981, E-ISSN 2169-4052, no 2538, p. 86-95Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Measuring and analysing satisfaction with public transport services facilitates service performance monitoring, market analysis, benchmarking and the identification of priority areas. The systematic and regular collection of information concerning satisfaction enables to investigate how passengers’ satisfaction as well as its determinants changes over time. These changes may be driven by changes in service quality or shifts in passengers’ expectations and preferences. This study analyses how satisfaction with public transport and its determinants evolved over time in Sweden in the years 2001-2013. The determinants of satisfaction are identified based on a factor analysis and the estimation of multivariate satisfaction models. The superposition of our findings culminates in a dynamic passenger satisfaction priority map which allows identifying priority areas based on observed trends in satisfaction with service attributes and their respective importance. The deterioration of overall satisfaction with public transport in Sweden in recent years is driven by a decrease in satisfaction with customer interface and length of trip time. These two service aspects as well as operation were found key determinants of overall satisfaction which users consistently rate among the least satisfactory. The results of this study are instrumental in supporting service providers in designing measures that will foster satisfaction in the future.

Keywords
Service Quality, Passengers, Utility, Trips, Modes
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-165859 (URN)10.3141/2538-10 (DOI)000372134700010 ()2-s2.0-84976649915 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20160418

Available from: 2015-04-29 Created: 2015-04-29 Last updated: 2018-12-19Bibliographically approved
2. Travel satisfaction with public transport: Determinants, user classes, regional disparities and their evolution
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Travel satisfaction with public transport: Determinants, user classes, regional disparities and their evolution
2017 (English)In: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, ISSN 0965-8564, E-ISSN 1879-2375, Vol. 95, p. 64-84Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Increasing public transport ridership while providing a service that better caters to individual travelers poses an important goal and challenge for society, particularly public transport authorities and operators. This study identifies and characterizes current and potential users of public transport in Sweden and identifies the most important determinants of travel satisfaction with Public Transport services for each segment of travelers. In addition, it investigates the changes over time of attribute importance among the different segments and the inter-segment geographical variation of overall satisfaction. The analysis is based on a dataset of almost half a million records. Travelers were clustered based on their socio-demographics, travel patterns and accessibility measures to enable the analysis of determinants of satisfaction for different market segments. The cluster analysis results with five segments of Swedish travelers include: (i) inactive travelers; (ii) long distance commuters; (iii) urban motorist commuters; (iv) rural motorist commuters and;(v) students. By contrasting satisfaction with the importance of each quality of service attribute, three key attributes that should be prioritized by stakeholders are identified: customer interface, operation, network and  length  of  trip time. Interestingly, the results suggest an overall similarity in the importance of service attributes among traveler segments. Nevertheless, some noticeable differences could be observed. The quality of service attributes’ importance levels reveal overall changes in appreciations and consumption goals over time. The more frequent public transport user segments are more satisfied across the board and are characterized by a more balanced distribution of attribute importance while rural motorist commuters are markedly dissatisfied with service operation attributes. This work can help authorities to tailor their policies to specific traveler groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Customer satisfaction, Service quality, Public transport, Market segmentation, User profiles, Geographical variations
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-200720 (URN)10.1016/j.tra.2016.11.011 (DOI)000392768600005 ()2-s2.0-84996554707 (Scopus ID)
Conference
Presented at National Conference in Transport Research, Norrköping, Sweden, October 21- 22nd, 2014.Presented at TransportForum, Linköping, Sweden, January 8-9th, 2015
Note

QC 20170202

Available from: 2017-02-01 Created: 2017-02-01 Last updated: 2019-01-30Bibliographically approved
3. How does travel satisfaction sum up?: Decomposing the door-to-door experience for multimodal trips
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How does travel satisfaction sum up?: Decomposing the door-to-door experience for multimodal trips
2018 (English)In: Transportation, ISSN 0049-4488, E-ISSN 1572-9435, p. 1-28Article in journal, Editorial material (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Understanding how satisfaction with individual trip legs aggregates to the overall travel experience for different types of trips will enable the identification of the trip legs that are most impactful. For this purpose we analyze data on retrospective evaluations of entire multi-modal trip experiences and satisfaction with individual trip legs. We formulate and describe alternative aggregation rules and underpin them in theory and previous empirical findings. The results of a series of regression models show that for a large number of multi-modal trip configurations normative rules can better reproduce overall travel satisfaction than heuristic rules. This indicates that all trip legs need to be considered when evaluating the overall travel experience, especially for trips legs involving waiting and/or transferring time. In particular, weighting satisfaction with individual trip legs with perceived trip leg durations yielded the best predictor of overall travel satisfaction. No evidence for a disproportional effect of the last or most exceptional part of the trip was found. This research contributes to the literature on combining multi-episodic experiences and provides novel empirical evidence in the transport domain. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018
Keywords
Customer Satisfaction, Public Transport, Trip legs, Multimodal trips
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-200729 (URN)10.1007/s11116-018-9860-0 (DOI)2-s2.0-85041502425 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20170202

Available from: 2017-02-01 Created: 2017-02-01 Last updated: 2018-12-19Bibliographically approved
4. What is the role of weather, built-environment and accessibility geographical characteristics in influencing travelers’ experience?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What is the role of weather, built-environment and accessibility geographical characteristics in influencing travelers’ experience?
2018 (English)In: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, ISSN 0965-8564, E-ISSN 1879-2375Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

We examine the effect of weather, accessibility and built-environment characteristics on overall travel experience as well as the experience with the latest trips. These are factors that are often disregarded in the travel satisfaction literature even though they are believed to largely influence the first mile of the door-to-door trip. This study fills a research gap in investigating all these factors by using, amongst other, a relatively large travel satisfaction survey from years 2009 to 2015 and by focusing on urban and peri-urban geographical contexts, the city and county of Stockholm (Sweden), respectively. The results show that county dwellers living close to a metro station and in well linked-to-all areas report higher overall travel satisfaction evaluations. In addition, precipitation and ground covered with snow have a negative influence on travel satisfaction. Our findings indicate that built-environment characteristics exert a rather weak influence on the travel experience, especially in the peri-urban context. However, some aspects such as living in areas with medium densities, low income and with high safety perceptions around public transport stations are associated with higher satisfaction levels. In turn, areas with single land uses are found to have lower travel satisfactions. These results are important for public transport planners and designers in devising measures to prevent and mitigate the negative outcome of some weather conditions and to conceive better designed transit oriented developments.

Keywords
customer satisfaction, built-environment, accessibility, weather, safety perceptions, door-to-door trips, ordered logit models, access, first and last-mile
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-240426 (URN)
Funder
Stockholm County Council, 2016090
Note

QC 201812109

Available from: 2018-12-19 Created: 2018-12-19 Last updated: 2019-05-10Bibliographically approved
5. Investigating the nature of Public Transport service attributes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigating the nature of Public Transport service attributes
2018 (English)In: Transportation Science, ISSN 0041-1655, E-ISSN 1526-5447Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Classifying public transport service attributes based on their influence on overall traveler satisfaction can assist stakeholders and practitioners in introducing cost-efficient measures. To date most studies employed methods that were based on the assumption that the impact of service attributes on traveler satisfaction is entirely linear and symmetric. This study examines whether service attributes have a non-linear and asymmetric influence on the overall travel experience by employing the Three-factor theory (basic, performance and exciting factors). The analysis is conducted for different traveler segments depending on their level of captivity, travel frequency by public transport and travel mode used, and is based on a relatively large sample size collected for Stockholm County. Moreover, the estimated models control for important socio-demographic and travel characteristics that have been insofar overlooked. Results are presented in the form of a series of multi-level cubes that represent different essentiality of traveler needs which provide a useful methodological framework to further design quality service improvements that can be applied to various geographical contexts. Our findings highlight that a “one size fits all” approach is not adequate for identifying the needs of distinct traveler segments and of travelers using different travel modes. Furthermore, two-thirds of the attributes are consistently classified into the same factor category which entails important policy implications. This research deepens and expands the very limited knowledge of the application of the three-factor theory in the transport field.

Keywords
Public Transport, customer satisfaction, three-factor theory
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-240427 (URN)
Funder
Stockholm County Council, 20160903
Note

QC 20181218

Available from: 2018-12-19 Created: 2018-12-19 Last updated: 2018-12-19Bibliographically approved

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