Investigating the complexity of perceived service quality and perceived safety and security in building loyalty among bus passengers in Vietnam – A PLS-SEM approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - bus, ridership - perceptions, planning - personal safety/crime, planning - service quality


Public transport, Service quality, Safety, Satisfaction, Loyalty, PLS-SEM


Previous studies have explored the effect of public transport (PT) passengers’ service quality perceptions, personal safety perceptions on loyalty intention. However, they have not yet studied the multidimensionality of these constructs, nor applied a hierarchical-component model evaluation approach for testing their measurements. In this study, an integrated model has been developed in the context of bus services within a developing country. Specifically, perceived safety and security is measured for the entire PT journey and operationalised as a formative second-order construct derived from three reflective dimensions: perceived safety and security during access/egress, at bus stops and on board. Similarly, the four dimensions of tangibility, convenience, personnel and reliability together form perceived service quality. Additionally, the moderating effect of gender in the cultivation of passenger loyalty is also examined in this study. Data collected from 870 bus passengers in two Vietnamese cities is used to validate the proposed model. Using partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM), the findings indicate that perceived service quality, perceived safety/security, image and satisfaction have significant positive influences on passenger loyalty towards bus services. Female passengers are also found to be significantly more loyal than their male counterparts when having a higher level of safety and security perception. Based on the findings, authorities and policymakers can develop safer, more sustainable PT systems and design more effective strategies to increase the loyalty of passengers.


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


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