Public Transport Quality and Travel Experience: The Italian Case Study
AbstractQuality in public transport is an important driver for customer satisfaction and for the competition (in the market) among public transport operators. There are both standard and non-standard attributes that influence users choices. For example, among the standards one there are the punctuality and regularity of services, the on-board travel time (e.g. how much time and with what comfort/pleasure) and the cleanliness of trains/buses. While, among the non-standard perceived quality attributes probably the most impacting one is the aesthetic and the design values of transport terminals (hedonic quality). Starting from these consideration in this research was investigated the role of the hedonic quality of the terminals (e.g. aesthetic, service offered and comfort) within the overall quality perception of the travel (travel experience). The case study was the extraurban bus services in Italy. A specific mobility survey was carried out in some Italian bus terminal. The analysis of the survey results shows that the willingness to pay for an high quality terminal is about the 30% of the actual ticket price. Furthermore, a travel experience effect was observed; the average perceived transport quality varies with the trip characteristic. Even if a passenger spend time (e.g. waiting for a bus) in an high quality terminal, the overall perceived quality of the trip is “low” for the users that carry out a “long trip” (e.g. the overall travel time greater than 2 hours or were used more than one transport mode, while the opposite occurs for the “short trips”. This results is the main original findings of this research and if confirmed will allow to conclude that the overall quality perception of an high quality terminal could be reduced (or even eliminated) if the overall travel is on average a "low quality" experience (e.g. elevated waiting times, not regular services, many interchange modes). This circumstance is known as "travel experience effect" and could be considered an explicit design variable in transport planning.
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How to Cite
Cartenì, A., & Henke, I. (2017). Public Transport Quality and Travel Experience: The Italian Case Study. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 13(10). https://doi.org/10.19044/esj.2017.v13n10p%p