Competing for level of service in the provision of mobility services: concepts, processes and measures

One of the most striking problems societies currently deal with is to assure adequate quality standards while improving accessibility within and between cities. In addition there is also a growing awareness that, to achieve a sustainable balance between private and public means of mobility, policies have to be able to send the correct signals in order to induce users adaptive behaviour, which in turn will provide the system with a reliable feedback on the needs for further investment and expansion of transport facilities. The definition and measurement of quality of service of the transport system is thus an objective aimed by both users and producers and it is often represented by the rather holistic concept of Level of Service (LoS). However, the LoS concept is not consciously used by users, on the contrary the user concentrates her comparative evaluation on what is simply known as quality. It is the planner that translates planned quality into LoS concept. So, LoS is a concept at the interface between the provider and the user. Given the interface character of the LoS concept an accounting framework for LoS should thus take into account the need to segregate the evaluation for passengers and freight transport and also distinguish between types of travellers in the case of passenger transport and types of commodities or logistic families in the case of freight transport. Moreover the bridge between the planner and the user view must be ensured. This paper reports the results of a research work dedicated to this topic.