Understanding public transport satisfaction: Using Maslow's hierarchy of (transit) needs

Public transport (PT) administrators require mechanisms to prioritise investments for improving their services, not only to maintain existing customers but also to attract new users. Customer satisfaction surveys allow detecting the level of global satisfaction with the PT system in addition to more specific satisfaction with its various attributes. Statistical analyses of these data allow determining which attributes impact more strongly on overall satisfaction. Although several econometric frameworks have been used for this task, the authors found only three studies loosely based on psychological theories to justify the models obtained. To address this critical gap in the literature, they postulate the existence of a Maslow's hierarchy of transit needs, with three types of attributes: functional (utilitarian), security (protection) and hedonic. To test their hypothesis, the authors estimate structural equation models (SEM), SEM-Multigroup, and SEMM (finite mixture) models, and assess their differences in four different cities with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)-type systems in Latin America. Their results confirm the existence of a hierarchy in the different BRT-type system contexts, allowing to derive more generalisable conclusions. Finally, the authors provide direct policy recommendations by constructing a set of priorities for the authors case studies, concerning reliability, safety, customer services and comfort; which is generalisable to any PT system setting.


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  • Accession Number: 01712795
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 21 2019 3:10PM