Assessing operation and customer perception characteristics of high frequency local and limited-stop bus service in Vancouver, Canada

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, mode - bus, operations - frequency, ridership - perceptions, technology - automatic vehicle monitoring, technology - passenger information, planning - methods, planning - service improvement


Bus service, Limited-stop bus service, AVL/APC data, Customer satisfaction


Public transport agencies implement different strategies aimed at improving the operation of transit service and to increase satisfaction among its riders. One service strategy employed by transit agencies is a limited-stop bus service that runs in parallel to a heavily used route to decrease travel times for existing riders and to reduce pressure on the local route. Using bus operations data obtained from automatic vehicle location (AVL) and automatic passenger counter (APC) systems and customer satisfaction data collected in Vancouver, Canada, the present study evaluates levels of satisfaction among users of a local and limited-stop bus service while controlling for the service characteristics these users have experienced in the past seven days. Our results reveal that after controlling for characteristics related to the conditions of the service experienced by users, namely passenger activity levels, patrons of the express route service were more likely to be satisfied with the transit service compared to users of the local service. This finding indicates that the operational characteristics of a limited-stop service, including in-vehicle time savings and higher route frequency, are highly valued by its users. Results of this study demonstrate how operations data can provide a greater context for customer satisfaction analyses. Finally, this study provides transit planners and policy makers with a better understanding of how customers perceive local and limited-stop service.


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