Title: A framework to measure transit service quality areas to be managed

Authors: Benedetto Barabino; Eusebio Deiana; Sara Mozzoni

Addresses: Department of Civil Engineering, Environment and Architecture, University of Cagliari, piazza D'Armi 16, 09123, Cagliari, Italy; Technomobility S.r.l, viale Trieste 159/3, 09123, Cagliari, Italy ' CTM S.p.a, viale Trieste 159/3, 09123, Cagliari, Italy ' Technomobility S.r.l, viale Trieste 159/3, 09123, Cagliari, Italy

Abstract: This paper addresses the development of public transportation quality management programmes in Europe, building on the theoretical framework of the EN 13816 standard, and is potentially helpful to transit operators for measuring and diagnosing quality areas concerning service attributes. The 'new' framework: 1) provides guidelines for the selection of the attributes and the data collection and processing techniques related to desired, targeted, delivered and perceived quality areas; 2) integrates the perspectives of both operators and users in a unifying manner (e.g., measuring the same quality attribute in objective and subjective ways), evaluating quality from the passenger's perspective; 3) allows the EN 13816 'quality loop' to be closed through concurrent analysis of four resulting gaps between the quality areas. To our knowledge, these issues have never been addressed in a single study. Therefore, the study manages to address a relevant weakness in transit literature. Application of the framework is illustrated using data from an Italian bus operator, collected on a high-frequency route. It provides transit operators with a ready-to-use tool to monitor quality areas in need of improvement and can be generalised to services other than transit.

Keywords: transit service quality; public transport; direct performance measures; secret shopper; EN 13816; quality management; theoretical framework; transit services; passenger perspectives; Italy; bus operators.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2015.072411

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2015 Vol.16 No.4, pp.390 - 415

Received: 21 Jan 2014
Accepted: 27 Mar 2014

Published online: 13 Oct 2015 *

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