User satisfaction with train fares: A comparative analysis in five Australian cities

In the public transport industry, travellers' perceived satisfaction is a key element in understanding their evaluation of, and loyalty to ridership. Despite its notable importance, studies of customer satisfaction are under-represented in the literature, and most previous studies are based on survey data collected from a single city only. This does not allow a comparison across different transport systems. To address this underrepresentation, this paper reports on a study of train passengers' satisfaction with the fare paid for their most recent home-based train trip in five Australian capital cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. Two data sources are used: a nation-wide survey, and objective information on the train fare structure in each of the targeted cities. In particular, satisfaction with train fares is modelled as a function of socio-economic factors and train trip characteristics, using a random parameters ordered Logit model that accounts for unobserved heterogeneity in the population. Results indicate that gender, city of origin, transport mode from home to the train station, eligibility for either student or senior concession fare, one-way cost, and waiting time as well as five diverse interaction variables between city of origin and socio-economic factors are the key determinants of passenger satisfaction with train fares. In particular, this study reveals that female respondents tend to be less satisfied with their train fare than their male counterparts. Interestingly, respondents who take the bus to the train station tend to feel more satisfied with their fare compared with the rest of the respondents. In addition, notable heterogeneity is detected across respondents' perceived satisfaction with train fare, specifically with regard to the one-way cost and the waiting time incurred. An intercity comparison reveals that a city's train fare structure also affects a traveller's perceived satisfaction with their train fare. The findings of this research are significant for both policy makers and transport operators, allowing them to understand traveller behaviours, and to subsequently formulate effective transit policies.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • © 2018 Puteri Paramita et al.
  • Authors:
    • Paramita, Puteri
    • Zheng, Zuduo
    • Haque, Md Mazharul
    • Washington, Simon
    • Hyland, Paul
  • Publication Date: 2018


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: e0199449
  • Serial:
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01705090
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 25 2019 2:30PM