On management's awareness of transit passenger needs

P. A. Koushki
O.I. Al-Saleh
M. Al-Lumaia

Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X


The findings of a research study designed to examine and evaluate management awareness of transit passenger needs are reported. Two structured questionnaires were developed, pretested and separately administered to determine levels both of management awareness of passenger priorities, as well as passenger satisfaction with the current performance of the bus service. The bus transit system serving metropolitan Kuwait is considered as a case. A positive customer/management satisfaction cycle is presented. While nearly two-thirds of the sample passengers indicated that the Kuwait's bus transit system offered a ‘better’ level of service than that of their home nations, they ranked levels of noise inside the bus, low travel speed, and lack of air conditioning as the top three deficiencies of the existing bus service. Measured values of the equivalent noise level, the percentile levels, the traffic noise index, and the noise pollution level all reflected a very noisy environment inside transit buses. The existence of a strong relationship between passengers' perceived annoyance and the actual measured noise levels inside buses was also quantified. In the view of management, bus cleanliness, bus maintenance, and bus air conditioning were the top service deficiencies in need of improvement. The results of the test of difference between two proportions yielded statistically significant differences between the service improvement measures suggested by passengers and those recommended by management. It is argued that lack of compatibility between passenger needs and managements' perception of those needs could result in the misallocation of scarce resources as well as growing passenger dissatisfaction with transit services.