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Measuring the quality of service for passengers on the hellenic railways

Eftihia Nathanail

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 2008, vol. 42, issue 1, 48-66

Abstract: The objective of this paper is to present a framework developed for assisting railway operators into monitoring and controlling the quality of services provided to their passengers. This framework is based on the estimation of 22 indicators, grouped under six criteria, i.e. itinerary accuracy, system safety, cleanness, passenger comfort, servicing, and passenger information. The valuation of the indicators is achieved through the analysis of quantitative, as well as qualitative parameters obtained either from statistical sources maintained by the railway operator, or data gathered from a questionnaire survey addressed to passengers. A grading system has been defined for the appreciation of the indicators. Also, a multicriteria evaluation has been developed for the estimation of an overall performance index for the quality of services provided by the operator, during a given period of analysis, which enables the decision makers to compare amongst different time horizons, and pre-defined objectives for a desired performance for a target year. The framework has been implemented in the Hellenic Railways and has provided quality control indices for the individual indicators, as well as for the overall performance of the network. Itinerary accuracy and system safety have been attributed the highest grades, as compared to the rest of the criteria established by the framework, indicating a small increase as compared to those grades of the previous time horizon analyzed. The rest of the criteria, relying on qualitative indicators, were valuated with a moderate grade, similar to the one attributed during the last time horizon of the analysis, indicating that no improvement has been observed in the services related to those indicators. The service quality valuation based on the above framework constitutes a useful tool, for the support of the decision process for the improvement of the railway operator.

Date: 2008
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