Modelling user perception of bus transit quality

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, operations - frequency, operations - performance, operations - reliability, place - europe, planning - service quality, policy - sustainable, ridership - modelling, ridership - perceptions


quality perception, bus transit, ordered probit, focus group


This article evaluates how bus users perceive the quality of their public transport service. In particular it looks at how perception of quality varies according to the available information. The experiment compares an overall evaluation of service quality before and after making passengers reflect on the importance of certain fundamental system variables which they may not have previously considered. Focus groups were used to individualise the most relevant variables. A quality survey was carried out both on-board buses and at bus stops and the overall service quality was related to the aforementioned variables using ordered probit models. The perception of quality is shown to change with the category of user and that there tends to be more criticism towards variations in overall quality until the users are stimulated into thinking more deeply about other influential variables. The application of this methodology may provide operating companies with valuable information for planning marketing policies aimed at different categories of user, in order to improve the service quality and attract more passengers to using public transport.


Permission to publish abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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