Transit service quality analysis using cluster analysis and decision trees: a step forward to personalized marketing in public transportation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - bus, ridership - perceptions, planning - surveys, planning - service quality, planning - marketing/promotion


Service quality, Personalized marketing, Cluster analysis, Decision trees, CART, Bus transit


A transit service quality study based on cluster analysis was performed to extract detailed customer profiles sharing similar appraisals concerning the service. This approach made it possible to detect specific requirements and needs regarding the quality of service and to personalize the marketing strategy. Data from various customer satisfaction surveys conducted by the Transport Consortium of Granada (Spain) were analyzed to distinguish these groups; a decision tree methodology was used to identify the most important service quality attributes influencing passengers’ overall evaluations. Cluster analysis identified four groups of passengers. Comparisons using decision trees among the overall sample of all users and the different groups of passengers identified by cluster analysis led to the discovery of differences in the key attributes encompassed by perceived quality.


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