Factors Affecting Travellers's Satisfaction with Accessibility to Public Transportation
M G Woldeamanuel, California State University, US; R Cyganski, German Aerospace Center, DE
We examine the question, which factors affect the satisfaction with accessibility to public transportation. Results from a Panel Binominal Probit Model using the German Mobility Panel can support improvement strategies for efficient transit systems.
Public transportation accessibility is an important predictor variable that indicates the level of effectiveness of a transit system and integration of transportation with land use. Especially for daily commuters, travellers without private vehicle and to those with limited mobility public transportation accessibility is a significant quality-related characteristic and a determinant factor for their decision on usage, route preference, departure time selection, mode choice etc. Improving accessibility can also be a persuasive factor for car-dependents to change their mode choice in response to environmental concerns of car use. If the fundamental purpose of transit-oriented design is to create land-use patterns that make transit accessible to potential riders, then transit access should be within easy walking distance of a rider's origin and destination. Thus, it can be stated that walking or biking accessibility to public transport is an important factor for integrating land use with transit planning. This factor could as well influence the degree of users' perception and satisfaction with the overall transit system.
Previous literature and surveys on travellers' satisfaction with public transportation services focused on variables such as bus stop facilities, drivers' behaviour, schedule adherence, bus frequency, vehicle cleanliness etc. Although a number of research papers on public transportation have reflected the importance of walking and biking accessibility to public transport, both aspects got little attention as indicators of the quality or performance of a public transport system. Thus, our research focuses on analyzing the significance of satisfaction with public transportation accessibility by using a panel data model.
This study seeks to examine the parametric relationship between the level of travellers' satisfaction with accessibility to public transport services (the dependent variable) and socio-economic as well as mode-related variables such as gender, age, occupation, public transport connectivity, car ownership etc. (independent variables) using a Panel Binomial Probit Model. In addition to the parametric relationship between the dependent and independent variables, the probability of being satisfied with public transportation accessibility is calculated for the wave of the panel as well as for the total sample of each year using estimated coefficients. The data used for the analysis is the German Mobility Panel (1996-2007). Since 1994 the German Mobility Panel survey has been carried out on annual basis to gather information on essential socio-economic and travel characteristics such as mode use, income, household type, etc. To collect such information, households and individuals were interviewed about their travel behaviour. The panel data includes Household Travel Survey and Personal Travel Survey; and these two components of the data set are merged to maximize the inclusion of important explanatory variables.
The dependent variable is the binary response of satisfaction with accessibility to public transportation. For each survey year, respondents have been asked whether they are satisfied with accessibility to public transportation with the expectation of a "yes" or "no" answer. The traditional method of measuring satisfaction is to compare a yearly satisfaction percentage; however, the purpose of the study is to identify factors affecting travellers' satisfaction with accessibility to public transportation by applying probability models.
The probability analysis to be conducted in this study will show that there are variables (related to the trip maker, the trip itself or the public transportation service) which affect the level of satisfaction of the travellers with public transportation accessibility. Thus, the study will answer the most important question: "which factors affect the level of satisfaction with accessibility to public transportation?" Also, the study seeks to find whether travellers who tend to be frequent users of public transportation would demonstrate lower probability of satisfaction with accessibility, which could be the point of interest to transit service providers. The modelling as well as the descriptive analysis results will have implications on policies and public transportation service improvement strategies including the creation of efficient transit-oriented developments.
Association for European Transport