SERVICE QUALITY AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTS


Filipa Fonseca, Sofia Pinto, Carlos Brito

Abstract: The objective of the paper is to identify the determinants of service quality as well as its impact on the satisfaction of public transport commuters. The paper explores the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction in a public transport service taking into account both internal and external perspectives. In order to analyse this relationship, the concepts of service quality, consumer satisfaction and dissatisfaction are assessed. A model of analysis is developed aiming at explaining this relationship and guiding the empirical study. This is based on an exploratory case study of a metro company in Europe. The results of the study put in evidence two key findings. The first is related to the level of service quality in its main dimensions. We conclude that reliability, security, speed, comfort and punctuality are quality dimensions of greater importance for the public transport services. Secondly, the study explores satisfaction and their determinants. Despite literature stipulates the existence of a distinction between the constructs of quality and satisfaction, this study found that the transport company, non-customers and customers clearly do not make such a distinction.

Keywords: service quality, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, public transport

DOI:

Recieved: 15.12.2009  Accepted: 05.05.2010  UDC: 656.025.2:658.56

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