Service quality assessment of public transport and the implication role of demographic characteristics

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - perceptions, ridership - young people, planning - service quality, planning - surveys, planning - marketing/promotion


Service quality, Age, Education, Driver’s license, Public transport service, Scale assessment


This paper first proposes scales to evaluate customers’ perceived service quality in public transport then identifies the demographic characteristic factors that may influence customer perceived service quality, as well as identifies any customer perception differences between the subcategories. The manager interview and random sampling method were used to survey 288 consumers of public transport buses. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to confirm the scale validity. Thereafter, structural equation modeling, Mann–Whitney U and Kruskal–Wallis tests were used to assess the causal paths and service quality perceptions differences among the subgroups. The three dimensions of functional, convenience and physical environment quality were confirmed as underlying factors to assess customer perceived quality in a public transport setting. Age and owning a driver’s license are factors that directly and positively affect service quality, whereas education was negatively related to perceived quality. In contrast, relationships between being a car user, gender and perceived quality were not supported. The results also showed that younger commuters appear to have lower perceptions of service quality compared to adults. However, the current study does suggest that people with a university education and above may be a better audience for advertising appeals focused on one of these three significant dimensions of service quality. This study adds theoretical knowledge on how to accurately assess opinions of customers’ perception of service quality in public transport services, as well as how to provide sufficient insight on the direct role of demographic characteristics on customers’ perceived service quality.


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