The Relationship between Bus Contract Costs, User Perceived Service Quality and Performance Assessment

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

organisation - contracting, ridership - perceptions, operations - reliability, mode - bus, place - australasia


benchmarking, bus contracts, competitive tendering, contract costs, contract negotiation, performance assessment, performance targets, service quality index


In contract tendering or negotiation there is a growing interest in identifying and integrating user perceptions of service quality into the determination of contract costs. This paper develops a framework within which a cost-service quality relationship is quantified, and then implemented to identify benchmark targets for cost efficiency improvements required to achieve a pre-defined service quality performance target. We use data from metropolitan and non-metropolitan bus operators in New South Wales to demonstrate the way the method can be used in contract negotiation and ex-post monitoring of performance leading up to contract renegotiation or tendering.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.