Uncovering factors influencing railway passenger experiences through love and breakup declarations

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, planning - service improvement, planning - surveys, planning - methods


Customer experience, Service design, Railway transportation


While existing approaches for assessing passenger experience are often limited to surveys of customer satisfaction, societal and technological challenges push the railway industry to adopt a user-centric approach to the design of their service. We used the love and breakup method in a study involving N = 53 passengers making a declaration to their railway company to collect qualitative feedback on the passenger experience. The method allowed to gather personal, emotional, and contextual insights into passengers’ experiences that can inform the transportation service design process. We describe 21 factors and 8 needs influencing the passenger experience, thereby consolidating and deepening prior work in the railway context. Using the lens of user experience theories, we argue that the service should be assessed against fulfilling these needs, which can act as guiding principles regarding service improvement. The study also presents valuable insights into the love and breakup method to explore service experiences.


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


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