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Improving the Quality of the Door-to-Door Rail Journey: A Customer-Oriented Approach

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Abstract:

In order to improve the position of the railways, the journey should be made more attractive compared to competing modes such as the car. In doing so, adopting a customer-oriented approach is very important. Such an approach implies: (i) a focus on the subjective experience of the passenger rather than on the objective quality; and (ii) a focus on all elements of the door-to-door rail journey rather than only the rail trip itself. This study provides an analysis of the customer experience of various dimensions of the door-to-door rail journey. We analyse both the satisfaction with each of the dimensions and their relative importance for the rail passenger. We find that travel comfort and time reliability are the two most important dimensions of the journey. Travel time reliability deserves more attention as the satisfaction is very low. Infrequent rail travellers are in general more satisfied, attach more importance to accessibility and travel time reliability, and less importance to travel comfort. Travellers with car availability are on average slightly more satisfied than captive rail passengers. Compared with other passengers, those under twenty years old attach less importance to the rail trip itself and more to the elements related to the other segments of the door-to-door journey, i.e. station access and transfer point. We find that the customer satisfaction has increased in the period 20012005. Elements related to the rail trip itself have become less important during this period while elements related to station access and transfer have increased in importance.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2148/benv.35.1.122

Publication date: March 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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