Understanding Quality Needs and Expectations of Potential Metro Users in Athens
APOSTOLOPOULOU E and NELLAS G, Attiko Metro S.A. and GANOUDIS D and MARINAKI A, Research International Hellas S.A., Greece
This paper presents the background, methodology, major findings and impacts of a survey that was carried out before the partial opening of two new metro lines in Athens in January 2000. The survey objective was to investigate the needs and expectations of
This paper presents the background, methodology, major findings and impacts of a survey that was carried out before the partial opening of two new metro lines in Athens in January 2000. The survey objective was to investigate the needs and expectations of potential users of the new lines as far as the quality of service is concerned. The survey was planned and supervised by the Planning and General Studies Department of Attiko Metro S.A., the organization responsible for the development of new metro lines in Athens. The survey was carried out by Research International Hellas S.A.
It is worth noting that Attiko Metro, in order to justify priorities and plan for the development of the metro network in Athens, has prepared a major Transport Study for the Athens area under the title "Metro Development Study". In the framework of this study, extensive data collection on trip characteristics within the study area has been performed since 1995. As a result, considerable quantitative information about the existing transport market in Athens and consequently about potential users of the new metro lines has been available.
Despite all the available information, this survey has still been considered important by the organization. It should be noted, here, that it is an explicitly stated target in the organization's Business Plan to offer best quality service to its customers, by achieving and monitoring specific quantifiable quality performance indicators against predefined quality targets.
A customer focused organization dedicated to offer best quality service should be particularly concerned with the "customers' perceptions of the quality of service". Taking into account that the expectations of customers regarding the quality of services have been found to affect to a great extent their perceptions of services offered, it has been considered critical to investigate potential users' expectations regarding the new system as well as to understand how they define quality regarding all quality aspects, including qualitative ones.
In addition, at the time the survey took place the organization was about to start a major advertising campaign to inform its potential users about its public transport services (network characteristics, train frequencies, etc). There was also a need to start and establish communication with potential users, as well as a need to provide information - of a quality that potential users would understand and appreciate- about the operation of the new Metro network and its connections to other transport modes.
Association for European Transport