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Intra-Urban Spatial Disparities in User Satisfaction with Public Transport Services

Rubén Cordera (), Soledad Nogués (), Esther González-González () and Luigi dell’Olio ()
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Rubén Cordera: Department of Transport and Projects and Processes Technology, University of Cantabria, Av. de Los Castros 44, 39005 Santander, Spain
Soledad Nogués: Department of Transport and Projects and Processes Technology, University of Cantabria, Av. de Los Castros 44, 39005 Santander, Spain
Esther González-González: Department of Transport and Projects and Processes Technology, University of Cantabria, Av. de Los Castros 44, 39005 Santander, Spain
Luigi dell’Olio: Department of Transport and Projects and Processes Technology, University of Cantabria, Av. de Los Castros 44, 39005 Santander, Spain

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 20, 1-22

Abstract: Knowing public transport service’s user satisfaction is essential to maintaining and increasing its quality and demand. Several studies have analysed the factors influencing users’ satisfaction, considering their perceptions of specific attributes of the service. However, other aspects, such as the spatial distribution of users, i.e., their origin neighbourhoods, could significantly affect their satisfaction with the service, showing social inequity patterns. This paper proposes a new methodology to evaluate whether these spatial differences in satisfaction exist. Using the city of Santander (Spain) as an example, ordered probit models have been estimated, linking the bus users’ overall satisfaction with variables that include their perceptions of the service and socio-demographic characteristics, and with dummy variables which classify each trip according to its neighbourhood origin. Our results confirm the existence of variations in satisfaction depending on the area of the city under study. In addition, user characterization variables, such as age, which were not significant when considering the city as a whole, proved to be influential in some areas. The estimated model, considering spatial differences, had a higher goodness of fit than that of models not taking zoning into account, and reproduced the overall satisfaction pattern presented in the study area with less error. The consideration of spatial differences in the modelling process enabled the detection of priority areas in which to implement measures to improve service quality and equity, thus increasing the use of public transport and supporting the promotion of a more sustainable mobility.

Keywords: public transport; spatial differences; user satisfaction; ordered probit; sustainable mobility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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