Priority Areas of Intervention for Improving Urban Bus Services: Experience in Kolkata, India

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - bus, planning - service improvement, planning - surveys, infrastructure - vehicle, operations - performance, ridership - perceptions, ridership - mode choice, ridership - behaviour


Urban, bus, choice riders, captive riders


Priority areas of intervention for the improvement of urban bus services were investigated and identified in the city of Kolkata, India. A paper-based survey was conducted to collect responses from choice riders (who own a car and predominantly travel by car or taxi) and captive riders (who do not own a car and predominantly travel by bus). The choice riders and captive riders identified air-conditioned (AC) and non-air-conditioned bus services, respectively, as two areas for intervention. Revised importance–performance analysis and fuzzy C-means clustering algorithm were used to analyze responses. Trip attributes were classified under three satisfaction factors (basic, performance, and excitement), and various management schemes were identified for AC and non-AC bus services. The areas of intervention were identified by analyzing the factor structures of travelers and the management schemes for the bus services derived from the perceptions of the travelers. Results indicated that choice riders and captive riders had distinct travel requirements and that their priority areas of intervention for improving AC and non-AC services also were different. With the requirements of choice riders and captive riders, these results offer direction for improving bus service in Kolkata. The methodology also could be used to formulate policies and measures for service improvement in other contexts.


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