Measuring the satisfaction of multimodal travelers for local transit services in different urban contexts


Marco Diana

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - car, mode - mass transit, place - europe, ridership - mode choice


Multimodality, Customer satisfaction, Public transport, Correspondence analysis, Ordinal measures


The importance of measuring customer satisfaction for a public transport service is apparent, even beyond more immediate marketing purposes. The present paper shows how satisfaction measures can be exploited to gain insights on the relationship between personal attitudes, transit use and urban context. We consider nine satisfaction measures of urban transit services, as expressed by a representative sample of Italian multimodal travelers (i.e. users of both private cars and public transport). We use correlations and correspondence analyses to show if and how each attribute is related to the levels of use of public transport, and how the relationship is affected by the urban context. Then we apply a recently developed method to combine ordinal variables into one score, by adapting it to work with large samples and with satisfaction measures which have a neutral point in the scale (i.e. “neither satisfied nor dissatisfied”). The resulting overall satisfaction levels and frequency of use were not correlated in our sample. We also found the highest satisfaction levels in smaller towns and the lowest ones in metropolitan cities. Since we focus on multimodal travelers, an interpretation paradigm is proposed according to which transit services must be well evaluated by car drivers in smaller towns in order to be considered a real alternative to cars. On the other hand, transit is more competitive on factual elements in larger cities, so that it can still be used by drivers, even if it is not very well evaluated.


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


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