Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Practices. Topic SB-29. Customer Focused Service Strategies

A growing number of North American public transit agencies have adopted “Service Guarantees” (a.k.a. “Customer Charters” or “Passenger Bill of Rights”) as part of a customer-focused service strategy. Service guarantees describe the level of service customers can expect and the procedures they may follow if standards are not met. In addition, some North American transit agencies report their public-facing performance metrics as online dashboards or report cards on the agency’s website as part of a proactive communications strategy. Currently, there is little existing research on these practices and experiences among U.S. transit providers. This synthesis will document the nature and prevalence of service guarantees among transit providers in North America. It will document the current state of the practice and benefits and implementation strategies, and identify challenges and lessons learned through a literature review, survey of representative transit agencies, and documentation of selected case examples/profiles. Tasks will include but not be limited to: (1) Prepare a literature review of service guarantees and customer charters. This will include a review of existing research and assessments by service quality thought-leaders. Document examples of Service Guarantees from public transit and passenger rail, and compare and contrast their contents. (2) How does the service guarantee fit into the overall strategic plan or mission of the agency? (3) What is the goal and objective of the service guarantee and have these objectives been accomplished? (4) Describe the role of customer charters as part of a comprehensive customer-focused service quality program, including metrics (e.g. safety, satisfaction, load factors, transit reliability, accessibility and other customer focused metrics).and processes to monitor performance and assess their success in meeting these objectives. (5) Identify transparency practices around customer focused service strategies (dashboards, report cards, open data, etc.) (6) Assess impacts on revenue, ridership and customer satisfaction, specifically considering refund policies and administrative methods and costs. (7) Describe processes used for designing and adopting Service Guarantees. (8) Identify other alternatives to service guarantees (bus bridges, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), real time communications, etc.) and (9) Document and assess lessons learned and future direction and gaps in information.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-07, Topic SB-29

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Garcia-Colberg, Mariela

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Walk, Michael

  • Start Date: 20160930
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40901

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01601672
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-07, Topic SB-29
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2016 12:31PM