Service quality, satisfaction and behavioral intentions towards public transport from the point of view of private vehicle users

Abstract

In order to attract car users towards the public transport services in an urban and metropolitan context, contributing to a sustainable mobility in cities, it is fundamental to improve our knowledge of service quality perceptions, satisfaction and behavioral intentions toward transit from the point of view of private transport users. This paper is based on the data from a single survey—carried out in two European cities (Madrid and Lisbon)—of regular private vehicle users that use public transport at least occasionally. The questionnaire gathers information about 14 attributes of service quality, four indicators for satisfaction and four indicators for behavioral intentions; as well as several sociodemographic variables that are used in the models (household location, gender, age, education, dependent members in the family and income). The study uses confirmatory factor analysis to identify the most important service quality attributes for the car users; structural equation modeling for investigating the relationships among the three factors; and multi-group analysis (MGA) and a multiple-indicator and multiple-causes (MIMIC) approach to identify heterogeneity in the models because of geographical context or sociodemographic characteristics. Regular private vehicle users in both cities agree that punctuality, frequency, information and intermodality are among the five most important service quality attributes. Residents in Madrid also emphasize speed, while service hours would be a priority in Lisbon. The models for both cities agree on a complete mediator role of satisfaction between service quality and behavioral intentions. The MGA and MIMIC approaches show that the models do not present important differences tied to the sociodemographic characteristics, although differences are identified between Madrid and Lisbon. The MIMIC approach identified differences associated with city, household location and education for the pooled data; while household location, age and education were significant in Lisbon.

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Acknowledgements

Support from Spain´s Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Research Project TRA2015-66235-R) is gratefully acknowledged. I would like to thanks the two anonymous reviewers whose comments and suggestions helped to improve and clarify this manuscript.

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Conceptualization: Juan de Oña; Methodology: Juan de Oña; Formal analysis and investigation: Juan de Oña; Writing—original draft preparation: Juan de Oña; Writing—review and editing: Juan de Oña; Funding acquisition: Juan de Oña; Resources: Juan de Oña; Supervision: Juan de Oña.

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Correspondence to Juan de Oña.

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de Oña, J. Service quality, satisfaction and behavioral intentions towards public transport from the point of view of private vehicle users. Transportation (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-021-10175-7

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Keywords

  • Public transport
  • Potential user
  • Non-user
  • Full mediator
  • SEM-MIMIC
  • Loyalty