RT28 – Ahmed El-Geneidy – Customer Satisfaction Research Innovations

RT28 – Ahmed El-Geneidy – Customer Satisfaction Research Innovations

Researching Transit – Episode 28

Published: July 2021

Keywords: public transport, transit, customer satisfaction, complaints, operations, big data

This is the sixth episode in the Researching Transit Handbook of Public Transport Research series. Links to obtain the book can be found at the end of the notes.

In this episode, Professor Graham Curries speaks to Professor Ahmed El-Geneidy. El-Geneidy is Professor of transport planning at McGill University, and one of the co-authors of Chapter 4 of the Handbook: Transit customer satisfaction research: is the customer always right?.

Professor El-Geneidy has a prolific publication record that spans transport and land use, cycling and public transport. He explains how mentors have helped him develop the ability to ask the right questions, work efficiently and collaborate with others. In turn, El-Geneidy explains how he approaches his role as a mentor to research students at the Transportation Research at McGill (TRAM) group, which he leads.

El-Geneidy discusses some of the forces that are amplifying the impact and reach of public transport research. Two of these are collaboration and data. Recently, researchers around the world pooled their insights about transportation access, including public transport systems, to benchmark accessibility around the world. A paper documenting this research was recently published in Nature’s Urban Sustainability journal.

The other force they discuss is data. Not only is more public transport data being created, but the methods available for harnessing this data are improving. In Chapter 4 of the Handbook, El-Geneidy and his co-authors Madalena Harreman-Fernandes, Ehab Diab, Boer Cui, James DeWeese, Miles Crumley explore insights about customer satisfaction on buses, using complaints data. Taking a customer-focused approach, the researchers examined complaints made by users of Portland’s Tri-Met bus network. Complaints were classified into themes including customer satisfaction with service quality and critical incidents. The researchers cross-referenced this information with operational data to explore causes and validate complaints. For example, pass-by incidents could be matched with time-stamped operational data and occupancy to identify instances where overcrowding may have prompted stop skipping as the source of pass-by complaints. Such information provides useful insight for operators about the actual causes of customer dissatisfaction. El-Geneidy notes that the potential of data to be put to use in transport planning is only beginning to be realised. New methods of extracting and cleaning the data are key to tapping into its full potential.

Find out more about today’s show in Chapter 4 of the Handbook of Public Transport Research – Transit Customer satisfaction research: is the customer always right? The Handbook is available for purchase from the publisher’s website: https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/handbook-of-public-transport-research-9781788978651.html

Learn more about Professor El Geneidy and Transportation Research at McGill (TRAM)

Read about access around the world in the recently published academic paper:

  • Wu, H., Avner, P., Boisjoly, G., Braga, C.K.V., El-Geneidy, A., Huang, J., Kerzhner, T., Murphy, B., Niedzielski, M.A., Pereira, R.H.M., Pritchard, J.P., Stewart, A., Wang, J., Levinson, D., 2021. Urban access across the globe: an international comparison of different transport modes. npj Urban Sustainability 1, 16. https://doi.org/10.1038/s42949-021-00020-2

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Music from this episode is from https://www.purple-planet.com

  • Date July 11, 2021
  • Tags Podcast