Research Article

Multivariate analysis of public transport quality: a case study in a medium-sized Brazilian city

Marianna Lucinda de Oliveira; Laryssa de Andrade Mairinque; Júlia Barros dos Santos; Josiane Palma Lima

Downloads: 0
Views: 34


Paper aims: This study aimed to analyze how the satisfaction level of public transport (PT) users is influenced by their socioeconomic characteristics.

Originality: The analysis of how socioeconomic variables influence the satisfaction level through the association between MANOVA and exploratory analysis is still not explored, especially in Brazil and in medium-sized cities, which represent the majority of Brazilian cities.

Research method: Data collection was carried out by questionnaire in a Brazilian city. The 330 users of PT evaluated their satisfaction level concerning 12 quality indicators. Statistical analyses were performed using Pearson's correlation and MANOVA.

Main findings: Most socioeconomic variables influenced user satisfaction in at least one indicator, gender and schooling being the most prominent. The results showed that women’s mean level of satisfaction is lower than men’s concerning indicators affected by gender. Fare was the indicator with the worst score, being influenced by users’ occupation.

Implications for theory and practice: The study presents practical and methodological contributions. The results provides technical and scientific subsidies for public policies and service improvement. It possible to improve each indicator according to the users’ socioeconomic characteristics, encouraging the use of PT and contributing to the urban environment sustainability.


Bus service, Satisfaction level, Socioeconomic characteristics, Quality Indicators, Multivariate analysis of variance


Abenoza, R. F., Cats, O., & Susilo, Y. O. (2017). Travel satisfaction with public transport: determinants, user classes, regional disparities and their evolution. Transportation Research Part A, Policy and Practice, 95, 64-84.

Antunes, E. M., & Simões, F. A. (2013). Urban applied engineering: a study on quality of public transport in mid-sized cities. Brazilian Journal of Urban Management, 5, 51-62.

Aquino, J. T., Souza, J. V., Silva, V. C. L., Jerôniomo, T. B., & Melo, F. J. C. (2018). Factors that influence the quality of services provided by the bus rapid transit system: a look for user’s perception. Benchmarking, 9(9), 4035-4057.

Arana, P., Cabezudo, S., & Peñalba, M. (2014). Influence of weather conditions on transit ridership: a statistical study using data from Smartcards. Transportation Research Part A, Policy and Practice, 59, 1-12.

Associação Nacional de Transportes Públicos – ANTP. (2016). Urban mobility information system of the national public transport association: general report 2016. Retrieved in 22 September 2021, from

Azmi, E. A., Nusa, F. N. M., & Rahmat, A. K. (2018). Service attributes influencing declining ridership of public rail operation based on passenger experience survey. AIP Conference Proceedings, 2020, 020026.

Bajčetić, S., Tica, S., Živanović, P., Milovanović, B., & Đorojević, A. (2018). Analysis of public transport users’ satisfaction using quality function deployment: belgrade case study. Transport, 33(3), 609-618.

Barcelos, M., Lindau, L. A., Pereira, B. M., Danilevicz, Â. D. M. F., & Ten Caten, C. S. (2017). Inferring the importance of public transport attributes based on user satisfaction. Transportation, 25(5), 36.

Batty, P., Palacin, R., & González-Gil, A. G. (2015). Challenges and opportunities in developing urban modal shift. Travel Behaviour & Society, 2(2), 109-123.

Birago, D., Mensah, S. O., & Sharma, S. (2017). Level of service delivery of public transport and mode choice in Accra, Ghana. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 46, 284-300.

Borchardt, M., Sellito, M. F., & Pereira, G. M. (2007). Assessment instrument for organizational process improvement: the case of urban passengers transportation in Porto Alegre. Production, 17(2), 302-316.

Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics – IBGE. (2021).. Retrieved in 22 September 2021, from

Brunoro, C. M., Sznelwar, L. I., Bolis, I., & Abrahao, J. (2015). The work of bus drivers and their contribution to excellence in public transportation. Production, 25(2), 323-335.

Bucsky, P. (2020). Modal share changes due to COVID-19: the case of Budapest. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 8, 100141. PMid:34171021.

Chakrabarti, S. (2017). How can public transit get people out of their cars? An analysis of transit mode choice for commute trips in Los Angeles. Transport Policy, 54, 80-89.

Chiou, Y. C., Jou, R. C., & Yang, C. H. (2015). Factors affecting public transportation usage rate: geographically weighted regression. Transportation Research Part A, Policy and Practice, 78, 161-177.

Currie, G., Delbosc, A., & Mahmoud, S. (2013). Factors influencing young peoples’ perceptions of personal safety on public transport. Journal of Public Transportation, 16(1), 1-19.

Davies, N., Blazejewski, L., & Sherriff, G. (2020). The rise of micromobilities at tourism destinations. Journal of Tourism Futures, 6(3), 209-212.

De Oña, J., & De Oña, R. (2015). Quality of service in public transport based on customer satisfaction surveys: a review and assessment of methodological approaches. Transportation Science, 49(3), 605-622.

De Oña, R., & De Oña, J. (2013). Analyzing transit service quality evolution using decision trees and gender segmentation. WIT Transactions on the Built Environment, 130, 611-621.

De Oña, R., Silva, J. A., Muñoz-Monge, C., & Oña, J. (2018). User’s satisfaction evolution of a metropolitan transit system in a context of economic downturn. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 12(1), 66-74.

De Vos, J. (2020). The effect of COVID-19 and subsequent social distancing on travel behavior. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 5, 100121. PMid:34171016.

Diana, M., Pirra, M., Castro, A., Duarte, A., Brangeon, V., Di Majo, C., Herrero, D., Hrin, G. R., & Woodcock, A. (2016). Development of an integrated set of indicators to measure the quality of the whole traveller experience. Transportation Research Procedia, 14, 1164-1173.

Diez-Mesa, F., De Oña, R., & De Oña, J. (2016). The effect of service attributes’ hierarchy on passengers’ segmentation. A light rail transit service case study. Transportation Research Procedia, 18, 234-241.

Dong, H., Ma, S., Jia, N., & Tian, J. (2021). Understanding public transport satisfaction in post COVID-19 pandemic. Transport Policy, 101, 81-88.

Efthymiou, D., Antoniou, C., Tyrinopoulos, Y., & Skaltsogianni, E. (2018). Factors affecting bus users’ satisfaction in times of economic crisis. Transportation Research Part A, Policy and Practice, 114, 3-12.

Fatima, E., & Kumar, R. (2014). Introduction of public bus transit in Indian cities. International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, 3(1), 27-34.

Freitas, P. V. V., Silveira, J. A. R., Melo, R. A., & Neto, O. C. C. L. (2018). Quality of urban public transport by bus: A study on users’ perception and technical performance in João Pessoa (PB), Brazil. Journal of Public Transportation, 1, 111-130. Retrieved in 22 September 2021, from

Grisé, E., & El-Geneidy, A. (2017). Evaluating the relationship between socially (dis) advantaged neighbourhoods and customer satisfaction of bus service in London. Journal of Transport Geography, 58, 166-175.

Guirao, B., García-Pastor, A., & López-Lambas, M. E. (2016). The importance of service quality attributes in public transportation: narrowing the gap between scientific research and practitioners’ needs. Transport Policy, 49, 68-77.

Güner, S. (2018). Measuring the quality of public transportation systems and ranking the bus transit routes using multi-criteria decision making techniques. Case Studies on Transport Policy, 6(2), 214-224.

Han, Y., Li, W., Wei, S., & Zhang, T. (2018). Research on Passenger’s travel mode choice behavior waiting at bus station based on SEM-logit integration Model. Sustainability (Switzerland), 10(6), 1996.

Johnson, R. A., & Wichern, D. W. (2002). Applied multivariate statistical analysis (Vol. 5, No. 8). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice hall.

Leitão, F. O., Silva, W. H., & Morais, M. S. (2018). Measurement of the quality of urban public transport service by bus: a study on the users’ perceptions regarding the use in Unaí, MG. Journal of Public Transportation, 41(3), 75-92. Retrieved in 22 September 2021, from

Lima, J. P., & Machado, M. H. (2019). Walking accessibility for individuals with reduced mobility: a Brazilian case study. Case Studies on Transport Policy, 7(2), 269-279.

Lobato, K. C. D., & Lima, J. P. (2010). Characterization and evaluation of selection processes of urban solid waste through mapping technique. Environmental and Sanitary Engineering, 15(4), 347-356.

Lombardo, R., Camminatiello, I., & Beh, E. J. (2018). Assessing satisfaction with public transport service by ordered multiple correspondence analysis. Social Indicators Research, 143(1), 355-369.

Maha, A., Bobâlcă, C., & Ţugulea, O. (2014). Strategies for the Improvements in the quality and efficiency of public transportation. Procedia Economics and Finance, 15(14), 877-885.

Mahmoud, M., & Hine, J. (2013). Using AHP to measure the perception gap between current and potential users of bus services. Transportation Planning and Technology, 36(1), 4-23.

Maraglino, V., dell’Olio, L., Borri, D., & Portilla, A. I. (2014). Methodology for a study of the perceived quality of public transport in Santander. Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, 160, 499-508.

Meng, L., Somenahalli, S., & Berry, S. (2020). Policy implementation of multi-modal (shared) mobility: review of a supply-demand value proposition canvas. Transport Reviews, 40(5), 670-684.

Mouwen, A. (2015). Drivers of customer satisfaction with public transport services. Transportation Research Part A, Policy and Practice, 78, 1-20.

National Association of Urban Transport Companies – NTU . (2018). Directory 2017-2018. Retrieved in 22 September 2021, from

National Association of Urban Transport Companies – NTU. (2020). COVID-19 and public bus transport: impacts on the sector and actions taken. Retrieved in 22 September 2021, from

Ngoc, A. M., Hung, K. V., & Tuan, V. A. (2017). Towards the development of quality standards for public transport service in developing countries: analysis of public transport users’ behavior. Transportation Research Procedia, 25, 4560-4579.

Noor, H. M., Nasrudin, N., & Foo, J. (2014). Determinants of customer satisfaction of service quality: city bus service in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, 153, 595-605.

Outwater, M. L., Spitz, G., Lobb, J., Campbell, M., Sana, B., Pendyala, R., & Woodford, W. (2011). Characteristics of premium transit services that affect mode choice. Transportation, 38(4), 605-623.

Santos, J. B., & Lima, J. P. (2021). Quality of public transportation based on the multi-criteria approach and from perspective of user’s satisfaction level: a case study in Brazilian city. Case Studies on Transport Policy, 9(3), 1233-1244.

Sarkar, P. P., & Mallikarjuna, C. (2017). Effect of perception and attitudinal variables on mode choice behavior: a case study of Indian city, Agartala. Travel Behaviour & Society, 12, 108-114.

Shaheen, S., & Cohen, A. (2018). Is it time for a public transit renaissance? Navigating travel behavior, technology, and business model shifts in a brave new world. Journal of Public Transportation, 21(1), 67-81.

Silver, S. D. (2018). Multivariate methodology for discriminating market segments in urban commuting. Public Transport, 10(1), 63-89.

Soltanpour, A., Mesbah, M., & Habibian, M. (2020). Customer satisfaction in urban rail: a study on transferability of structural equation models. Public Transport, 12(1), 123-146.

Suman, H. K., Bolia, N. B., & Tiwari, G. (2017). Comparing public bus transport service attributes in Delhi and Mumbai: policy implications for improving bus services in Delhi. Transport Policy, 56(March), 63-74.

Tembe, A., Nakamura, F., Tanaka, S., Ariyoshi, R., & Miura, S. (2019). The demand for public buses in sub-Saharan African cities: case studies from Maputo and Nairobi. IATSS Research, 43(2), 122-130.

Tsami, M., & Nathanail, E. (2017). Guidance provision for increasing quality of service of public transport. Procedia Engineering, 178, 551-557.

Vij, A., Carrel, A., & Walker, J. L. (2013). Incorporating the influence of latent modal preferences on travel mode choice behavior. Transportation Research Part A, Policy and Practice, 54, 164-178.

Wang, Y., Wang, Y., Chen, Y., & Qin, Q. (2020). Unique epidemiological and clinical features of the emerging 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) implicate special control measures. Journal of Medical Virology, 92(6), 568-576. PMid:32134116.

Warne, R. (2014). A Primer on Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) for behavioral scientists. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 19, 17.

Weng, J., Di, X., Wang, C., Wang, J., & Mao, L. (2018). A bus service evaluation method from passenger’s perspective based on satisfaction surveys: a case study of Beijing, China. Sustainability (Switzerland), 10(8), 1-15.

Yang, L., & Wang, Y. (2018). Commuting mode choice behaviour study and policy suggestions for low-carbon. Tehnicki Vjesnik, 25, 1169-1173.

Zuo, T., Wei, H., & Chen, N. (2020). Promote transit via hardening first-and-last-mile accessibility: Learned from modeling commuters’ transit use. Transportation Research Part D, Transport and Environment, 86, 102446.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

625ff6e1a9539566ce191064 production Articles
Links & Downloads


Share this page
Page Sections