Not what one would expect? Contract Structure and User Satisfaction in PT

While reviewing results from the second round of the Global Delphi in Public Transport, some information called our attention. Two pieces of statistics that may be worth having a look at.

1) The contractual structure concerning risk allocation and incentives is a feature of the organisation of PT that is supposed to generate important repercussions in the success or difficulties encountered by involved parties. In the case of PT, we are normally talking about the government entity responsible for PT and transport operating companies. However, the representatives of these groups that responded to our survey seem to have quite opposite views in relation to how these contractual characteristics can affect their performance. See below:

Note: ‘Other’ include representatives of private Think Thanks, member of SIMUS (Latin American Association for Sustainable Mobility), former general manager of Metropolitan Public Transport System.

 

2) Another interesting preliminary finding of the second round concerns the relevance given to the index of ‘Overall User Satisfaction’ as a source of valuable information on the functioning of PT. Whilst, as one would expect, representatives from users’ associations pose great importance on this indicator, it was surprising to see how this contrasted to the opinion of other groups in our survey – in particular those groups that are responsible for designing and providing transportation services.

 

It is important to highlight that the Delphi is a qualitative research method involving a limited number of respondents. By design, the purpose of the survey is not to produce statistically significant results. Nonetheless, it is certainly interesting to notice that some of the common sense assumptions one could have about PT are dismissed here. This can be a lead to more (and interesting) research.

 

Added by Fabio Hirschhorn

 

 

Who are the experts in Round 2

After concluding the second round of our Global Survey in Public Transport we look at the profile of respondents again. An interesting mix of expertise is contributing with this research (respondents could choose multiple options and percentages are in relation to total number of participants):

Note: ‘Other’ include representatives of private Think Thanks, member of SIMUS (Latin American Association for Sustainable Mobility), Counselor and President of Associations of Public Transport Secretaries and Directors, former general manager of Metropolitan Public Transport System.

 

Note: ‘Other’ include ‘Monitoring impacts of deregulation, privatisation etc.’, and ‘Economic Appraisal; Costing & Pricing; Market Research’

 

 

 

ADDED BY FABIO HIRSCHHORN

 

 

 

 

The final pool of experts in the Brainstorming Round

With the closing of the first round of the Global Delphi in Public Transport it is time to look at how the final group of experts looks like. A few weeks ago we had preliminary statistics on their profile, however now we can revise and update those numbers with the entire list of experts. Let’s have a look[1]:

Professional Role:Note: ‘Other’ include: representatives of Think Thanks, representatives of voluntary professional association for bus industry, former president and general manager of Metropolitan Public Transport System Agencies, president of National Association of transport authorities, and individuals working in entities with multiple roles (e.g. both Authority and Operator of Public Transport), employees of PPP Agencies.

 

 Areas of Expertise:Note: ‘Other’ includes: expertise on Land Use and Transport Integration, Behavioral Modelling, Assessment of long-run policy outcomes, e.g of privatization, (de)regulation.

 

Geographical Region of Expertise:

 

In our next posts we will be bringing the results of Round 1 with the opinions these experts emitted in relation to the questions on performance and governance of metropolitan public transport.

 

 

[1] Since respondents could select more than one alternative, percentages in the graphs are relative to the total number of experts participating in the survey.

 

 

ADDED BY FABIO HIRSCHHORN

 

Who are the Experts?

The Global Delphi in Public Transport is online since last week and many participants have already sent us very interesting input. While we still wait for others to respond, we thought about having a glance on who, so far, has accepted our invitation and is already participating in this project.

Based on this partial pool of responses, we came up with a few general statistics on their profile. Let’s have a look[1]:

 

Professional Role:Note: ‘Other’ include: representatives of Think Thanks, representatives of voluntary professional association for bus industry, former general manager of Metropolitan Public Transport System, and individuals working in entities with multiple roles (e.g. both Authority and Operator of Public Transport).

 

Areas of Expertise:Note: ‘Other’ includes: expertise on Planning and Network Design,  Land Use and Transport Integration, Behavioral Modelling.

 

Geographical Region of Expertise:

 

[1] Please note that these were multiple choice questions and respondents could indicate more than one alternative. Percentages in the graphs are relative to the absolute number of respondents.

 

ADDED BY FABIO HIRSCHHORN

 

About Words

While designing this Deplhi survey, we received some useful comments from experts in the field – in particular, we were warned about possible difficulties in communication emerging from the use of different terminology in the field of public transport in different parts of the world. Some of the terms and expressions used, either in academia or by practitioners, vary in different contexts, and hence the terms we use in our survey might not be immediately clear to all our respondents. We want to offer some additional information that makes the interaction in our Delphi study more clear in various governance contexts. Here are some points that we initially want to clarify:

1. Metropolitan Public Transport System. When used in this survey, the expression refers to all collective modes of land passenger transport services within the metropolitan area and linking it to its direct environment. We include those available to the general public. We exclude long-distance services. We do not distinguish on the basis of ownership or control; these services could be either operated publicly or privately. In certain contexts it can be referred to as Transit System, Public Transit or just Transit.

2. Operator or Transport Operating Company. When used in this survey, the expression refers to the entity delivering the actual transportation services on the street or on the rails and with direct control of the logistical and personal operations of public transport services. Sometimes, this entity is also in control of the infrastructure capacity and allocation. This entity could be either a public or private organisation.

3. Authority or Metropolitan Transport Authority. When used in this survey, the expression refers to the government branch deciding on the public transport services in the metropolitan (either a free-standing entity or a function of local or state government), enacting political decision making in this field. This entity could combine this role with others, ranging from planning to procurement of services from Operators, or even the actual delivery of transportation services through its own Operator. In certain contexts it can be referred as Transport Authority, Metropolitan Transit Authority or Transit Agency.

4. Regulator or Regulatory Agency. When used in this survey, the expression refers to the authority that enforces the law on an industry e.g. safety regulations. Normally in the PT field if several services are provided by the private sector as concessionaire, there must be an independent Regulatory Agency to ensure that all PT operates at approved levels.

5. Clearing Company or Clearing House. When used in this survey, the expression refers to the entity responsible for the clearing and settlement system through which different Operators within an integrated fare and ticketing system can get paid the sums they are owned. Therefore, it refers to the feature required to enable an integrated ticketing and single travel card system. The clearinghouse functions, can be developed by private or public entities that can be also responsible for other functions in the transportation system – a Transit Agency, for instance, can in some contexts be also responsible for clearinghouse tasks.

6. Level of Government. When used in this survey, the expression refers to different levels of government that may hold responsibilities related to the planning, regulation, and/or delivery of public transport services in the metropolitan context. The denomination of these levels varies depending on political systems: local, province and national government levels; municipal, state and federal levels etc. For this research, we refer to metropolitan as the level of government that most tightly encloses the metropolitan area. In that we define metropolitan area by continued high densities of habitation around a central city. Smaller governmental entities are called local, higher entities, not covering a nation state, regional, higher entities covering a nation state national.

Were these clarifications helpful? Did you notice other terms or expressions that might cause difficulties for communication within our small global community of experts? If you have additional questions, comments or want to add something to or correct this list, please post your comment or contact us by email! We will ensure your anonimity when publishing your comment.

 

ADDED BY FABIO HIRSCHHORN and Wijnand Veeneman

 

And it is gone!

The first round of our Global Delphi in Public Transport has started!

All selected experts have now received an official invitation containing the link to the first questionnaire of our survey. This first round consists in a brainstorming effort: through a few questions we will try to elicit views from experts to identify most relevant performance indicators, the broad policy aims to which they are associated, and also most relevant organisational features of metropolitan public transport systems.

Our expectation at the moment is that it will involve a total of four rounds, nut ths may change. An exact estimate is not possible at this stage however, and the evolution of the survey will depend on the reactions we receive from respondents.

Wijnand, Didier, and myself are excited and curious to see how this unfolds in the coming weeks!

 

ADDED BY FABIO HIRSCHHORN