The study looked at the trade-off between price and quality for bus and train users in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.
After reviewing the literature, a survey of 12,557 bus and rail passengers on over 1,000 bus and train services was undertaken in 2012/13 using a stated preference (SP) and a rating questionnaire.
The SP questionnaire presented a set of pair-wise choices. The rating questionnaire enabled valued vehicle and stop/station quality to be valued on a percentage scale from 0% (very poor) to very good (100%).
The vehicle ratings were compared with ‘objective’ data such as bus age; the rail station ratings were compared with objective such as ‘years since last refurbishment’; and the bus stop ratings were compared with perceived data on facility provision such as seating.
A set of explanatory rating models were then developed, which in combination with the SP results, enabled vehicle and stop/station quality to be valued in terms of fare and in-vehicle time.
Keywords: public transport service quality, rating surveys, stated preference, value of time, willingness to pay