Rail-based Public Transport Service Quality and User Satisfaction – A Literature Review
While rail-based public transport is clearly a more advanced and preferable alternative to driving and a way of overcoming traffic congestion and pollution problems, the rate of uptake for rail travel has remained stagnant as a result of various well-known issues such as that commuters either use a more reliable and comfortable alternative to get from A to B and/or that they are not satisfied with the quality of service provided. This study examined the factor of user satisfaction regarding rail-based public transport with the aim of discovering precisely what factors have a significant effect on the user satisfaction and uptake of rail travel. This was approached using both the Delphi approach and a thorough review of the current literature, focusing on a total of nine possible factors affecting passenger satisfaction with rail travel availability of service, accessibility of service, ticket or pass, punctuality, clarity of information, quality of customer service, comfort, safety, and image. Also discussed were 29 extra possible attributes and several measures that were implemented in various countries to increase the service quality. It was concluded that this review will provide valuable information for policymakers, researchers and service providers in terms of specifying the service factors most worth investigating if the quality of this crucial means of transport is to be raised.
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