Analyzing the gap between the QOS demanded by PT users and QOS supplied by service operators

Bryan Epstein, Moshe Givoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research evaluated the effectiveness of tendered bus public transportation (PT) in improving the attractiveness of that service in order to promote sustainable mobility. This was accomplished by characterizing the gap between the quality of service (QOS) supplied by contract regimes and that which is demanded by passengers. Analysis of a customer satisfaction survey aimed at bus users provided insight into their ranking of 14 QOS parameters while 13 active service contracts were analyzed for their impact on QOS. In-depth interviews with relevant experts completed the complex narrative that is Israel's policy of privatization in PT. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses helped identify those QOS parameters most in demand by passengers and impacted by contracts. The results show that the gap is minimal, high demand parameters receive increased priority in contracts. In addition this research documented an evolution in the method contracts employed to provide QOS. Late model contracts define an increasingly higher minimum QOS; but also strongly limit the operator's ability to make service changes. This is a trend which should improve QOS in Israel but reduce the incentive for operator enacted QOS initiatives. Despite its obvious success to date, it might be time to change again the contract regime for the provision of competitive bus services in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-637
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research, Part A: Policy and Practice
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Bus transport
  • Contract tendering
  • Public transportation
  • Quality of service


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