Structural Equation Modelling for Analysing Passengers’ Perceptions about Railway Services

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - europe, ridership - perceptions, operations - performance, operations - reliability


Railway Transit Services, Service Quality, Passengers’ Perceptions, Structural Equation Modelling


In this work a tool for analysing passengers’ perceptions in terms of satisfaction with transit services is proposed. Specifically, a structural equation model is formulated to explore the impact of the relationship between global customer satisfaction and service quality attributes, such as safety, cleanliness, main and additional services, information, and personnel. We analyse the services offered by rail operators in the Northern Italy; specifically, 32 regional lines and 9 suburban lines connecting different towns of the hinterland of the city of Milan, and 2 express lines connecting Milan with the Malpensa airport are analysed. To calibrate the model, data collected in a survey addressed to a sample of more than 16,000 passengers are used. The survey was conducted in June 2011. The proposed model can be useful both to transport agencies and planners to analyze the correlation between service quality attributes and identify the most convenient attributes for improving the supplied service. The main findings are that service characteristics like punctuality, regularity and frequency of runs, and cleanliness have the highest positive effect on service quality. While also comfort and information have a notable positive effect, personnel and safety have a not very considerable effect.


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


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