What influences satisfaction and loyalty in public transport? A review of the literature

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

literature review - literature review, ridership - behaviour, ridership - perceptions


Public transport, satisfaction, loyalty, service factors, ridership retention, literature review


Public transport ridership retention is a challenge for many cities. To develop comprehensive strategies aimed at retaining riders, it is necessary to understand the aspects of public transport that influence users to become loyal to the system. This paper analyses relevant literature regarding the causes of satisfaction and loyalty in public transport. We find that the service factors most associated with satisfaction are on-board cleanliness and comfort, courteous and helpful behaviour from operators, safety, as well as punctuality and frequency of service. On the other hand, loyalty is associated with users’ perceptions of value-for-money, on-board safety and cleanliness, interactions with personnel and the image and commitment to public transport that users feels. Furthermore, the results elucidate that the concept of loyalty is best defined based on users’ intentions to continue using the service, their willingness to recommend it to others, their overall satisfaction, but also and most importantly, their image of and involvement with public transport. Public transport users who have a positive image of the agency and consider public transport an integral component of city life are more likely to demonstrate loyalty and act like ambassadors for public transport agencies.


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