Addressing the Importance of Service Attributes in Railways
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This research presents a combined qualitative and quantitative method focused on determining the level of importance that users place on different attributes of a railway service. The identification of these preferences will allow the establishment of policies that could increase the quality and demand of this mode. The qualitative analysis is based on a participation process through focus groups and in-depth interviews. From these sources, a diagnosis of the system and the main attributes that may influence the demand have been obtained. The quantitative part of the methodology is grounded on the realization of a stated preference survey using Best?Worst case 1 scaling. This method has made it possible to determine that the attributes related to the fare system, travel time, and intermodality are the most important to increase the quality of rail transport. Instead, the least important attributes were those related to very specific additional services. At the same time, it has been observed that the importance varies depending on the frequency of railway use. Thus, less frequent and nonusers considered the connections with other transport modes and user information more important. Therefore, improving intermodality could be a cost-effective way to attract new users.