Measuring the Effects of Economic Crisis on Users' Perceptions of Public Transport Quality

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - subway/metro, place - europe, planning - surveys, planning - service quality, ridership - demand, ridership - perceptions


public transport, user satisfaction, transit demand, economic crisis, survey


Research was conducted to measure the effects of the economic crisis on public transport quality, user satisfaction, and transit demand. The survey used in this research extended a research effort that began in 2008; the survey aimed to analyze the variability of users' satisfaction within different public transport systems. The survey was conducted in Athens, Greece, from November 2012 to January 2013, during the peak of the country's economic recession. The content of the questionnaire that was used for the needs of the survey was similar to that of 2008 so that the results would be comparable. Passengers were asked to rate how important a series of metro and bus attributes were, their level of satisfaction with those attributes, their overall satisfaction with the main public transport operator they used, and the increase or decrease of their individual demand for public transport. A factor analysis was first performed to identify potential common patterns between the individual importance attributes. Ordered logit models were then estimated with the overall satisfaction as a response variable. Results of the analysis were then compared with the findings of the earlier (precrisis) research; this comparison revealed interesting adaptations in users' perceptions of the public transport operators' quality. Moreover, a hybrid choice and latent variable model was estimated to explore the overall satisfaction of the respondents. Finally, a demand model was developed; this model revealed the characteristics that led to the increase (or decrease) of public transit demand in the past 5 years.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.