Identifying attributes of public transport services for urban tourists: A data-mining method

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, place - europe, place - north america, planning - service quality, technology - passenger information


Urban tourism, Public transport, Social media, Quality of service, Content analysis, Data mining


The current work focuses on Quality of Service (QoS) of Public Transport (PT) attributes in urban tourist destinations. In particular, we aim to reveal which attributes are most significant for tourists prior to their arrival at their destination, as reflected in questions posted in TripAdvisor Question and Answer forums, a widely used social media platform.

We used a data-mining method to classify questions into categories relevant to QoS, using a sample of 8905 items posted between 2005 and 2018 in TripAdvisor forums for seven urban destinations in the United States and Western Europe. We found four PT-QoS attributes: Pricing and ticketing, Accessibility, Trip duration, and Service availability (hours of operation and frequency). These attributes have similar relative significance for all destinations, origins, seasons, and years we checked. Hence, they can help service operators and policymakers to understand tourists' preferences and to adjust PT services accordingly.


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


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