Modelling user perception of bus transit quality considering user and service heterogeneity

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, ridership - perceptions, planning - service quality


perceived quality, random ordered probit, heterogeneity, systematic variations in tastes, public transport


Transport operating companies and decision makers not only have to satisfy the demand for transport but they must also provide a quality service which is attractive to customers. This article presents a methodology to model bus transit quality in the city of Santander using user perception data. The perceived quality has been estimated with random ordered probit models. Firstly, general service user population models are presented which initially only consider the service attributes and later introduce systematic variations in taste which have economic and social implications. Secondly, the quality perceived in different bus lines is analyzed. The results show that each line is perceived differently by its users who prioritize different aspects and that heterogeneity is clearly present in the perception of service quality. However, if the measures that need to be taken aim to improve the overall service, partial effects suggest that changes need to be made in the aspects where improvements have the greatest impact on quality: reliability, journey time, available information and driver kindness, meaning that service improvement strategies need to be designed around these aspects.


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