Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - performance, planning - service quality, planning - surveys, ridership - attitudes, organisation - performance, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - mass transit


Transit, Surveys, Service quality, Ridership, Rail transit, Quality of service, Public transit, Performance, Patronage (Transit ridership), Passenger service quality, Mental attitudes, Mass transit, Local transit, Intracity bus transportation, Customer satisfaction, Customer loyalty, Chicago Transit Authority, Bus transit, Attitudes


The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) conducted its third biennial random-digit-dial telephone survey of customer satisfaction in December 1999. Between 1997 and 1999, there was a significant increase in the number of riders with positive attitudes toward CTA, measured in a number of different ways. Moreover, this continued the upward trend noted between 1995 and 1997. Specific areas of improved customer satisfaction are reviewed, with an emphasis on a three-part index of customer loyalty. This loyalty index could be a useful summary measure of public transit's ability to attract additional-choice riders. CTA was, in fact, able to do the latter, as a part of 1997 to 1999 ridership growth that paralleled customer satisfaction and loyalty increases. Investigation of the three basic dimensions of improved customer loyalty to CTA (overall satisfaction, likelihood of continued riding, likelihood of recommending to others) are described. Customer assessments of bus service performance, according to 44 specific aspects of service quality, and rail service performance, according to 52 specific aspects of service quality, are also summarized.