The mobility patterns in Europe are changing. To keep our cities and suburbs accessible, and to improve air quality and quality of life, public transport is crucial. People have more choices in what transport modes they want to use now than ever before, which is also why the quality of the transport mode has become more important.
ENERQI aims to improve public transport by using observations of customers regarding quality.
The project focused on the following goals:
- Removing the main barriers for public transport usage: negative emotions, feelings or attitudes of public transport customers as being “second rate travellers”,
- Distinguishing important customer needs which need to be fulfilled to guarantee and maintain an outstanding public transport system,
- Realising a change in public attitudes towards public transport, which means a general change towards a more positive perception of sustainable transport,
- Embedding customer satisfaction and needs in daily public transport management,
- Increasing the current numbers using public transport services in selected areas
- Increasing the perception of quality of services by users from initial baseline,
- Realising significant energy savings.
The project was organized into the 7 following work packages (WP):
WP 1: Management, Quality Control and Risk Management.
WP 2: Collection and use of existing Methodologies.
WP 3: Designing a common ENERQI Methodology.
WP 4: The Quality Monitoring and Implementation of PT Improvements.
WP 5: Evaluation and Analysis for User Guidance.
WP 6: Communication and Dissemination.
WP 7: IEE Dissemination Activities.
The developed ENERQI quality monitoring system for public transport was tested in 8 European countries. Over 4.000 observers were recruited and actively involved in giving their opinion about the quality of their local public transport. Over 25.000 observations have been made by the observers, which resulted in a good and reliable overview of the perceived quality of the provided services.
In all cities the public transport authorities have actively changed their services for the better. Based on the observations made, the customers rated the quality higher.
Successful measures to improve the quality of the service were e.g. driver training, network and timetable changes and giving on route trip information.
In all countries observations were done based on the same questionnaire. This made it possible to benchmark between the different countries/public transport providers. Overall, the most important aspect was punctuality, followed by frequency, price, reliability, safety and security, comfort, level of crowding and condition of the vehicles. There are clearly similar patterns on how people value the importance of these aspects in different countries. Still, there are relevant differences in what the customers value the most. Some of the most stringent ones are:
- Price is among the top five of most important aspects in all sites except Alba Iulia. Lisbon is the place where price has a higher relative importance, which is very likely related to the recent drastic fare increases in this site;
- The conditions of the vehicles are clearly more valued in Alba Iulia, Plovdiv and Lancashire than in other places;
- Punctuality is within the top three aspects in all sites, except for Alba Iulia (where there is a very high frequency of the services).