Passenger surveys to monitor customer satisfaction in the Netherlands


Francis Cheung

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys


In the Netherlands, a public transport monitoring system has been introduced to provide decision-makers and stakeholders the necessary management information. It has been designed primarily for the purposes of policy formulation and project development. It also serves as a source of information to inform the general public regarding the public transport situation in their region compared with other regions in the country . It is officially known as the OV-Monitor (Public Transport Monitor). It covers all form of public transport, except the railways which has it own Users'Surveys. OV-Monitor contains detailed information on the supply, usage, quality and the fares revenue of urban and regional public transport. The data is collected, collated and made available in the internet. The OV-Monitor covers the whole of the Netherlands which is currently comprised of 74 concession regions. For each region, information is available on aspects such as modal split, passenger-kilometres, frequency of services, possibilities to link-up with connecting bus services and the reactions of the users. The last aspects is the primary subject of this paper. However, the paper will in its introduction give the background information leading to its introduction, the objectives of the project, its set-up and usage. Catering for the travelling needs of the general public has been the main theme in the planning philosophy in the Netherlands. In the public transport sector, it has generally been recognised that the existing and potential passengers are the clients and public transport services should be tailor-made to serve their requirements. To this end, the OV-Monitor has been constructed to assist officials from the transport authority and the operators. An important component of the system is the Customers'Survey Study. The research information serves as a kind of barometer to give insights into two important questions:Which aspect of the public transport services are important to the customers and how satisfied are the customers with respect tro each of the quality aspect. A large scale questionairre survey is undertaken once every year in the 74 concession regions. The transport authorities at the national and local levels together with the operators have (on the basis of earlier research findings)together identified 32 quality aspects as important. These quality aspects have been grouped together into a consistent and cohesive set of indicators covering information, security, comfort. travel time. journey costs and facilities available. For each aspect, the passenger was invited to give a score using a 10 points scale. The system is now in use and has been introduced since 2001. The paper will describe the methodology used, the quality of the results and illustrate how the findings are being used to support decision making and the benchmarking of performances between concession regions and performance over time.


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.