Post: Conference paper: Measuring railway traffic punctuality from the passenger’s perspective

Conference paper: Measuring railway traffic punctuality from the passenger’s perspective

Punctuality is an important success factor for railway traffic systems, and it is one that largely affect on passengers. Measuring punctuality in railways has many different applications. It can provide a measurement of quality, and can be used for example in individual investment projects or in scheduling. This article discusses punctuality from the point of view of the passenger and also discusses the current state of research on the subject. Previous studies made by the authors have noted that the customer’s point of view is inadequately studied in railway traffic and that punctuality has been neither extensively measured nor systematically monitored from the passenger’s perspective. Accordingly, this study focused on measuring the experienced punctuality of passengers rather than that of trains.

Nowadays, customer management is increasingly important in all fields. Railway actors have to be able to follow how railway customers’ punctuality evolves from the customers point of view. While development of punctuality measurements in Finland has been slow, this is also the norm in the international field. Methods of measuring punctuality in most countries are simple, concentrating solely on measuring the deviation of scheduled stops and counting the percentage value of punctual trains. Also, threshold values of punctuality vary between countries and common uniform measurement methods are missing.

The main goal of this study is to explain the usefulness of punctuality measurements that take passengers into account. First, the article provides a general outline of punctuality measurements based on a literature review, followed by a brief discussion of the different possibilities for measuring punctuality. The article describes the specific features of punctuality measurement in Finland and considers the ways in which these passengers’ punctuality measurements might be put into practice. Railway punctuality has been measured in Finland since 1992. However, trains, not passengers have been considered the key indicators in punctuality and quality measurements.

Newer, more diversified indicators are needed in order to measure punctuality – indicators that measure punctuality from different perspective than we are used to. This article focuses on the passenger’s perspective and on methods for measuring punctuality in Finland. Passenger punctuality measurements provide the railway industry with new ways of approaching and measuring punctuality. This kind of indicator can be used to monitor overall passenger service quality as well as to measure customer satisfaction. Further research is needed to empirically test the passenger punctuality measurements.

Authors: Riikka Salkonen & Jouni Paavilainen
Title: Measuring railway traffic punctuality from the passenger’s perspective
Conference: WCTR 2010, the 12th World Conference on Transport Research, Lisbon, 11–15 July 2010
Paper ID: 02857
Publication: General Proceedings of the 12th World Conference on Transport Research Society, ISBN 978-989-96986-0-4