Service climate antecedents of transit passenger complaints and temporary opt-out: The case study of Brasília

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, ridership - attitudes, ridership - perceptions, ridership - behaviour, planning - surveys, planning - service level, planning - service improvement


Public transport, Complaints, Service disruptions, Transit passengers, Attitudes


The importance of understanding the antecedents of transit passenger complaints derives from their possible effect on ridership and potential contribution as a valuable data source for service improvements. This study explores the effect of the service climate, disruption frequency, and perceived value of complaints on complaint intentions. It also explores the correlation between complaints and temporary opt-out when controlling for personal and trip characteristics. The theoretical framework combines the affective event theory with the consumer complaint intention model. We validate the framework with a survey of 533 respondents in Brasília. The results show that: i) complaints derive from level-of-service perceptions, frequency of disruptive events, and the perceived emotional, moral, and functional value of complaining; ii) good customer care and the belief in the ability of the operators to prevent disruptive events increase the perceived value of complaints; iii) stronger complaint intentions lead to temporary opt-out intentions provided there are alternative modes. That results show that the service climate, disruptive event management, and handling customer care are essential factors in maintaining passenger operator-relations.


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


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