Improving Travel Satisfaction with Public Transport

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Sammanfattning: Continuous urban growth, environmental issues, competition for limited space, longer commuting distances as well as the need to promote equity and equality in society are the primary reasons that make the improvement of public transport (PT) services and the attraction of more travelers to shift from car to PT a key policy area in many countries across the globe.The existing link between PT travelers’ satisfaction, ridership and loyalty prove the relevance of improving overall trip satisfaction. The three papers included in this Licentiate thesis present an array of approaches and methodologies aiming at increasing overall satisfaction with PT door-to-door trips while covering important issues that previous research has failed to address. These knowledge gaps include: disregarding the different needs and priorities of different type of travelers; overlooking the evolution over time and across geographical areas that overall satisfaction and satisfaction with specific service attributes may experience; and, neglecting the importance of access and egress legs.Based on the Swedish customer satisfaction barometer (Svensk Kollektivtrafik barometer– SKT), an investigation of the determinants of PT satisfaction and their evolution over time for PT users in the years 2001-2013 (Paper I) shows that: a) the deterioration of overall satisfaction with PT in Sweden in recent years is driven by a decrease in satisfaction with customer interface and length of trip time; b) these two service aspects as well as operation are found as key determinants of overall satisfaction which users consistently rate among the least satisfactory.The diversity of needs and priorities of SKT travelers was reduced into 5 distinctive multi- modal travelers’ groups (Paper II). These travelers’ groups exhibited geographical disparities and an in between-groups overall similarity in the importance attached to the service attributes. Nevertheless, some noticeable differences could be observed. The service attributes’ importance levels reveal overall changes in appreciations and consumption goals over time. The more frequent PT user segments are more satisfied across the board and are characterized by a more balanced distribution of attribute importance whilst one of the groups - rural motorist commuters - are markedly dissatisfied with the service operation attributes.A number of both normative and heuristic satisfaction aggregation rules are tested on METPEX (A Measurement Tool to determine the quality of the Passenger EXperience) dataset for different types of trip configurations (Paper III). This is done to understand how travelers combine trip leg’s satisfaction into an overall evaluation of their trip, and to investigate the relative importance of satisfaction with access, main and egress legs for the whole travel experience of door-to-door trips. The results show that normative rules can better reproduce overall travel satisfaction than heuristic rules, indicating that all trip legs need to be  considered when evaluating the overall travel experience. In particular, weighting satisfaction with individual trip legs with perceived trip leg durations yield the best predictor of overall travel satisfaction, especially when applying a penalty for each waiting time of 3 or 4 times in- vehicle or walking time.This set of papers would help authorities to better evaluate and cater for travelers’ needs by supporting the allocation of resources and prioritization of measures in the most impactful part of the door-to-door trip.