|Public transportation has become one of the cornerstones for country’s infrastructure development. Road transportation is one of the important means of public transportation. Within road transportation, a large number of people use bus transport as the means to commute between one place for work, home, visiting friends, trips etc. Ensuring service quality in this service, therefore, becomes imperative for the transportation services providers. The research objectives are as follows: (a) To study passenger patterns and passenger preferences with respect to service quality dimensions. (b) To explore the impact of demography, transportation, technology, policy and road infrastructure attributes on service quality factors and their impact on overall satisfaction of intercity bus transportation. (c) To attempt a cause-effect relationship model of service quality in relation with overall satisfaction with intercity bus transportation. (d) To understand the nature of intercity bus passenger transportation in European cities and compare with the Indian scenario.
The sample consists of 605 intercity bus transport passengers travelling within Karnataka, with starting journey from Bangalore. The data analysis is based on statistical techniques namely, reliability analysis, factor analysis, K-means cluster analysis, t-test, ANOVA, Tukey HSD post-hoc test, Games-Howell post-hoc test, regression techniques, partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM), multigroup analysis, mediation and moderation analysis.
Research findings showed that demography and transport attributes have significant differences in the perception of service quality dimensions and overall satisfaction. Passengers are clustered into three types based on their preferences. The first passenger type usually travels more than 350 kilometres by opting for the night journey and demand high service quality. The second type usually travels less than 50 kilometres, opts for day journey and has low demand for service quality. The third type of passenger usually travels more than 350 kilometres by opting day journey and they perceive service quality as moderate. While demography, policy and technology attributes significantly impact the service quality dimensions and overall satisfaction of intercity bus service, external tangibles like clean toilets and clean bus stands and environmental dimensions do not significantly impact the overall satisfaction.
Comparative study of the Indian and European context demonstrates technology interface as essential for passengers of both European and Indian context. However, environmental dimension significantly impacts the overall satisfaction of passengers in European context whereas it does not significantly impact the overall satisfaction of passenger in Indian context. Similarly, external tangibles such as clean drinking water, clean bus stops are important to passengers in European context, but not for passengers in the Indian context. This study contributes by developing passenger clusters based on their service quality preferences and identifying the influence of transport attributes on perception of service quality of transport