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Title: Assessment of service quality and satisfaction from passengers perspective to inform bus operator decision making
Authors: Yahya, Norhayati
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This research considers important aspects of bus service improvement through a detailed investigation of bus operations and service quality initiatives introduced in the context of an informal Quality Bus Partnership (QBP). Passengers’ views of the quality of bus service improvement were studied by comparing routes which have experienced significant improvements in quality (Superoute services, SR) with those that have not (Non Superoute services, NSR) using Tyne and Wear, UK as a case study. How seventeen service quality attributes influence passenger satisfaction in the context of their perceived importance, is investigated. Five different statistical analysis approaches, namely Descriptive, Importance and Satisfaction Analysis (ISA), Factor Analysis (FA), Cluster Analysis(CA) and Ordered Logit Regression (OLR) were adopted to endorse underlying patterns in the data and thus to add credibility to the final results. Three groups of quality attributes resulted from the Factor Analysis the first, with ten attributes, related to Service infrastructure (including cleanliness of buses and bus stops, personal security, duration of journey and cost of tickets), the second, with five attributes, was Bus Operation (including frequency of services at weekends and on a Sunday and reliability of bus arrival) and finally with two attributes, Ticket Purchase (whether purchased on the bus or at Travel Centre). Four clusters of passengers emerged from the cohort and these were used as a basis to improve understanding of the relative importance, and their associated levels, of satisfaction of the quality attributes according to the characteristics of particular passenger groups. Finding information about bus routes, security on the bus and at bus stops, conditions of shelters and friendliness of drivers emerged as improvements resulting from investment in SR. A much different picture emerged for the four cluster groups. The only groups that exhibited a higher proportion of SR users, mainly female senior citizen shoppers were satisfied with all 17 attributes, whilst the similar cohort of mainly NSR, were dissatisfied with all 17 attributes and all attributes were considered to be important. Younger adults mainly NSR users considered reliability as the only important attribute with which they were dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction for the ‘cost of tickets’ was prevalent throughout all passengers irrespective of whether NSR or SR however, SR users appeared to always be more satisfied with lower importance indicating investment has led to the perception of improvements in value for money. The results showed consistently that SR Likert scores for satisfaction were higher than other services whilst the importance scores were in the main statistically similar. The OLR showed that the quality attributes that influence the overall rating and overall quality of the service were found to be different. The results of this research provided evidence that SR services introduced, as a voluntary QBP, have influenced passenger satisfaction and lead to evidence with potential to influence the decisions of bus operators regarding investment.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

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