Using three-factor theory to identify improvement priorities for express and local bus services: An application of regression with dummy variables in the Twin Cities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, operations - performance, operations - reliability, place - north america, planning - service improvement, planning - service quality, planning - surveys, ridership - attitudes


Customer satisfaction, Importance-performance analysis, Quality of service, Kano model, Transit


To overcome the limitations of importance-performance analysis, this study employs the three-factor theory to identify transit service attributes that critically impact overall satisfaction of express and local bus riders. Specifically, Using the 2014 Transit Rider Survey in the Twin Cities, we examine how the performance of service attributes rewards and penalizes riders’ overall satisfaction with express and local buses, and classify these attributes into three factors based on their respective contributions to overall satisfaction. We then integrate the factor structure with their average performances to identify improvement priorities. We found that both the importance of service attributes to the overall satisfaction and the improvement priorities differ between express and local buses. Among the tested attributes, “vehicles are comfortable”, “total travel time is reasonable”, and “reliability” should be addressed first for both local and express buses.


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


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