Author: Jaime Allen, Juan Carlos Muñoz, Juan de Dios Ortúzar (2019)
Journal: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Keywords: Transit satisfaction, Fare evasion, Behavioural contagion, SEM-MIMIC, SEMM-NL, Heterogeneity
Fare evasion, in public transport (PT), is a major problem in certain countries and threatens the PT administrators’ funds directly. Hence, identifying the possible causes for this behaviour can be highly relevant. Governments and PT administrators aim to deliver first-class services to satisfy customers, who will then tend to reuse the services and recommend them to friends and family, attracting new users. Customer surveys help PT administrators determining which items are more relevant for users. We hypothesise that a direct link exists between overall and attribute-specific satisfaction and fare evading behaviour; we also test the notion that the evading behaviour of other users may directly impact the satisfaction of a given user. As such, we propose a general PT satisfaction-evasion behavioural model which considers (dis)satisfaction with other users’ fare evading behaviour, attribute-specific satisfaction, overall satisfaction, reuse intention, and self-reported fare evading behaviour. We base our analysis on a single intercept survey (n = 2,002), designed on the basis of focus groups conducted on users of two PT modes, Metro and bus, in Santiago de Chile. Using structural equation models (SEM) we are able to capture heterogeneous perceptions and behaviours among PT users. In particular, we found that evading behaviour increases when satisfaction with (i.e. attitude towards) other users’ fare evading behaviour increases (contagion effect), and when satisfaction with reliability decreases. We develop a behavioural fare evader profile, that could be useful in policy making. For overall satisfaction, we test a variety of models confirming that reliability is the most crucial satisfaction construct in our case. We provide policy recommendations for deterring fare evasion in Santiago based on our results, but our framework is clearly generalisable to other PT settings.