Prioritizing Metro Service Quality Attributes to Enhance Commuter Experience: TOPSIS Ranking and Importance Satisfaction Analysis Methods

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro, place - asia, planning - methods, planning - service improvement, planning - service quality, planning - surveys, ridership - perceptions


Commuters, Customer satisfaction, Quality of service, Rail transit, Surveys, Transit riders


A metro infrastructure, facility, and service quality investigation based on commuter perception was conducted in this study to explore and prioritize the key attributes influencing overall metro service quality in a typical Indian context. Based on the critical state-of-the-art review, 12 key attributes were identified and they were accommodated in a paper-based questionnaire to elicit commuter perception of importance and satisfaction by using a five-point Likert scale. Subsequently, TOPSIS, an extensively adopted multi-attribute decision-making technique, was carried out to rank the attributes with respect to perceived importance and satisfaction. Then an importance satisfaction analysis (ISA) was conducted to further classify the attributes in four quadrants based on their perceived degree of importance and satisfaction using an ISA matrix. Finally, the derived results from the TOPSIS and ISA analysis were combined and compared to obtain a prioritized set of attributes requiring intervention for better metro service quality in an Indian context. Results of this study clearly indicated the relative strengths and weaknesses of each metro service/infrastructure-specific attribute and presented the probable role of metro authorities for each of them. Attributes such as metro fare, connection to metro, and metro frequency were observed to be the most important, but were not performing satisfactorily, indicating that more emphasis is required on these attributes to improve the overall quality of travel by metro rail in an Indian context. Thus, this methodology would be instrumental in detecting a set of priority areas for improvement in metro rail services, which could contribute to retaining existing commuters and attracting new metro users.


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