Factors affecting bus users’ satisfaction in times of economic crisis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, place - urban, planning - surveys, planning - service quality, planning - signage/information, ridership - growth


Public transport, Satisfaction, Transport demand, Economic crisis, Ordered logit model


This paper continues the research effort that the authors begun in 2008 on the quality factors that affect adoption of public transportation and retention of its users. The objective of this paper is to explore the impacts of the deep, 7-year economic crisis, on the perceptions of public transport users, with bus as their main transport mode, about service quality. Data from three user-satisfaction surveys that were conducted in Athens in 2008 (pre-crisis), 2013 (mid-crisis) and 2017 (deep-crisis) are used for the analysis. Mann Whitney/Wilcoxon test is applied for the distribution comparison of the responses between the pairs of consecutive years (2008–2013 and 2013–2017), in order to measure the change in users’ preferences. Ordered logit models are developed for the user satisfaction and shift to public transportation after the beginning of the economic crisis.

The results of the analysis indicate that the satisfaction about quality attributes, such as service frequency, conditions at the stations and information provision, are important contributors of the total satisfaction, verifying the results of Tyrinopoulos and Antoniou (2008) and Efthymiou et al. (2014), but their impact varies over time. Despite the general decrease of commuting activities due to increase of unemployment, the shift to public transportation has increased. More specifically, demographic characteristics, such as age, occupation and gender, as well as qualitative factors, such as overall quality of service, service production, transfer quality, ticket services and environmental consciousness, have affected the decision of people to shift to and from public transportation.


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


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