Special Issue "Improving Quality of Service and Safety Perception in Public Transport Systems"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Luigi dell’Olio
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Transportation and Projects and Processes Technology, University of Cantabria, Av. de los Castros 44, Santander 39005, Spain
Interests: sustainable mobility; urban sustainability; travel behavior; spatial planning; public transport; random utility models; survey design; land use–transport interaction models; quality of service
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Laura Eboli
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calabria, Rende, 87036, Italy
Interests: public transport; air transport; service quality; sustainable mobility; road safety; driving behavior; behavioral modeling; survey design; spatial analysis; land use–transport interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is dedicated to the analysis of public transport users’ perceptions of service quality and safety. Perceptions of quality and safety are very important to encourage the use of collective transport systems and consequently to help promote more sustainable forms of mobility. In this Special Issue, we invite papers related to all public transport modes that propose service quality and safety analysis, and policies to promote mobility using conventional techniques or new technologies. Novel contributions proposing new theoretical insights, method development, or applications are encouraged. Special attention will be given to studies investigating variations of user perceptions in space and time.

Prof. Dr. Luigi Luigi dell’Olio
Prof. Dr. Laura Eboli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Quality of service
  • Perceived quality
  • Desired quality
  • Safety perception
  • Sustainable mobility

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Riding Comfort Evaluation Based on Longitudinal Acceleration for Urban Rail Transit—Mathematical Models and Experiments in Beijing Subway
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4541; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114541 - 03 Jun 2020
Abstract
Riding comfort is an important index to measure the quality of service for railways, especially for congested urban rail transit systems where the majority of passengers cannot find a seat. Existing studies usually employ the value of longitudinal acceleration as the key indicator [...] Read more.
Riding comfort is an important index to measure the quality of service for railways, especially for congested urban rail transit systems where the majority of passengers cannot find a seat. Existing studies usually employ the value of longitudinal acceleration as the key indicator to evaluate the riding comfort of vehicles, while there is no validated mathematical models to evaluate the riding comfort of urban rail trains from the perspective of passengers. This paper aims to employ the collected longitudinal acceleration data and passengers’ feedback data in Beijing subway to qualitatively measure and validate the riding comfort of transit trains. First, we develop four regular fuzzy sets based comfort measurement models, where the parameters of the fuzzy sets are determined by experiences of domain experts and the field data. Then a combinational model is given by averaging the four regular fuzzy set models to elaborate a comprehensive measurement for the riding comfort. In order to verify the developed models, we conducted a questionnaire survey in Beijing subway. The surveyed riding comfort data from passengers and the measured acceleration data are used to validate and optimize the proposed models. Two key parameters are deduced to describe all parameters in the fuzzy set models and a meta-heuristic algorithm is applied to optimize the parameters and weight coefficients of the combinational model. Comparing the collected comfort data with the comfort levels and values calculated by different models shows that the averaging model is better than any regular fuzzy set model. Furthermore, the optimized model is better than the averaging model and provides the best accuracy and robustness for riding comfort measurement. The models provided in this paper offer an optional way to measure the riding comfort for further assessment and more comprehensively tuning of train control systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Methodologies for Determining the Service Quality of the Intercity Rail Service Based on Users’ Perceptions and Expectations in Thailand
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4259; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104259 - 22 May 2020
Abstract
There is a significant need to change people’s travel mode from personal cars to public rail, because rail transport is a more environmentally friendly travel mode. Over the past decade, the number of rail passengers has reduced because of service quality problems. Thus, [...] Read more.
There is a significant need to change people’s travel mode from personal cars to public rail, because rail transport is a more environmentally friendly travel mode. Over the past decade, the number of rail passengers has reduced because of service quality problems. Thus, this study aims to propose guidelines for precise service quality (SQ) improvements of intercity rail services in Thailand. Data were collected from 615 train passengers by distributing questionnaires at train stations in six provinces, covering all regions of Thailand. Cluster analysis (CA), factor analysis (FA), and importance-performance analysis (IPA) were applied in this research, which were used based on gap analysis. As a result of CA and FA, the 45 quality indicators were grouped into four factors, namely, vehicles, staff, services, and infrastructures/stations. The FA results seem more appropriate than those of CA in terms of providing factor loadings that indicate the importance of each indicator. The results of IPA show that the seven indicators that were analyzed fell into the “concentrate here” quadrant. To summarize the current policy, the factor most in need of rapid improvement in order to increase the quality of the intercity rail service in Thailand is that of the train car variables group; on the other hand, the main strength of the current services relates to the services provided by staff. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Key Determinants of Airline Loyalty Modeling in Thailand
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4165; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104165 - 20 May 2020
Abstract
The airline industry in Thailand has grown enormously over the past decade. Competition among airline companies to reach market share and profit has been intense, requiring strong strategic abilities. To increase the service quality of such companies, identifying factors related to the context [...] Read more.
The airline industry in Thailand has grown enormously over the past decade. Competition among airline companies to reach market share and profit has been intense, requiring strong strategic abilities. To increase the service quality of such companies, identifying factors related to the context of airlines is important for policymakers. Thus, this study aims to present empirical data on structural factors related to the loyalty of domestic airline passengers. Structural equation modeling was used to confirm the proposed model. The questionnaire was used to survey and collect data from 1600 airline passengers. The results indicate that satisfaction, trust, perceived quality, relationship, and image of airlines positively influenced loyalty with a statistical significance of α = 0.05. Moreover, the study found that expectation and perceived quality indirectly influenced loyalty. The findings provide a reference for airline operators to clearly understand the factors that motivate passenger loyalty, which can be used to develop the sustainability of marketing strategies and support competitiveness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Transit Market: A Persona-Based Approach for Preferences Quantification
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3863; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093863 - 09 May 2020
Abstract
The study aims at utilizing a persona-based approach in understanding, and further quantifying, the preferences of the key transit market groups and estimating their willingness to pay (WTP) for service improvements. The study adopted an Error Component (EC) interaction choice model to investigate [...] Read more.
The study aims at utilizing a persona-based approach in understanding, and further quantifying, the preferences of the key transit market groups and estimating their willingness to pay (WTP) for service improvements. The study adopted an Error Component (EC) interaction choice model to investigate personas’ preferences in a bus service desired quality choice experiment. Seven personas were developed based on four primary characteristics: travel behaviour, employment status, geographical distribution, and Perceived Behavioural Control (PBC). The study utilized a dataset of 5238 participants elicited from the Hamilton Street Railway Public Engagement Survey, Ontario, Canada. The results show that all personas, albeit significantly different in magnitude, are negatively affected by longer journey times, higher trip fares, longer service headways, while positively affected by reducing the number of transfers per trip and real-time information provision. The WTP estimates show that, in general, potential users are more likely to have higher WTP values compared to current users except for at-stop real-time information provision. Also, there is no consensus within current users nor potential users on the WTP estimates for service improvements. Finally, shared and unique preferences for service attributes among personas were identified to help transit agencies tailor their marketing/improvement plans based on the targeted segments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Public Transport Quality, Safety, and Perceived Accessibility
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093563 - 27 Apr 2020
Abstract
Service quality in public transport is proposed as a key determinant of perceived accessibility, the ease to live the life one wants with the help of the transport system, as low service quality may be a barrier for use, decreasing the ease to [...] Read more.
Service quality in public transport is proposed as a key determinant of perceived accessibility, the ease to live the life one wants with the help of the transport system, as low service quality may be a barrier for use, decreasing the ease to participate in daily activities. The first aim was to validate the direct relationship between public transport quality and perceived accessibility. Secondly, we analyzed the mediating role of safety perceptions to better explain the link between service quality and perceived accessibility. Public transport travelers (n = 4944) from five northern European cities were surveyed. Results from PLS-SEM modeling show that service quality has a significant and direct relationship with perceived accessibility, especially regarding functionality. An indirect relationship through travel safety perceptions was also observed, highlighting information and comfort as main drivers. High car use, low public transport use, increasing age, and being a woman were also associated with greater perceived accessibility. City comparisons yielded a number of significant differences. Our results contribute to the research literature by highlighting the importance of service quality in public transport for perceptions of accessibility in daily travel. In particular, we argue that functionality is the core attribute to focus on, and that attributes related to travel safety perceptions should be carefully considered when planning for sustainable transport. Full article
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