Quantifying preference heterogeneity in transit service desired quality using a latent class choice model

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, planning - service quality, planning - service improvement, economics - willingness to pay, ridership - behaviour, technology - intelligent transport systems


Transit service quality, Stated preference, Latent class choice model, Attribute non-attendance, Willingness to pay, Error components interaction model


This study aims at quantifying preference heterogeneity in transit service desired quality to better-informing service quality improvements. The analysis is performed using a validated dataset elicited from 906 respondents through an online survey. An unlabelled Stated Preference (SP) experiment was utilized in a Latent class Choice Model (LCM), and an Error Components interaction model. The results of the EC interaction model revealed preference heterogeneity due to differences in respondents’ socioeconomic and behavioural characteristics. While the results of the LCM untapped vital information that has not been reported previously in the transit service quality literature. Unlike the traditional user type classification, our study classifies respondents into three segments: Direct Trip Enthusiastic (DTE), Cost-Sensitive (CS), and Real-time Information Supporter (RIS). Each segment exhibits different preferences for transit service attributes, and their willingness to pay for service improvements is distinctly different. Further, the LCM indicates that the heterogeneity of users’ preferences is not explicit in their usage pattern nor accessibility to different travel modes; instead, it is a bundle of various parameters.


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


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