, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 539–564 | Cite as

Measuring quality of service in dial-a-ride operations: the case of a Canadian city

  • Julie Paquette
  • François Bellavance
  • Jean-François Cordeau
  • Gilbert Laporte


In many countries, dial-a-ride services are provided by public authorities to elderly and handicapped people who cannot use regular transit. Cost minimization is key to running these services, but one can observe a growing interest in quality measurement and improvement. A first step in improving quality is to define a quality measurement scale specific to dial-a-ride services. A second step is to incorporate quality measurements in mathematical models that serve as a basis for optimization algorithms. To this end, an extensive survey of dial-a-ride users was conducted in Longueuil, the largest suburb of Montreal, Canada. This paper describes the steps of the survey and presents its main conclusions: (1) 56 attributes were identified based on interviews, (2) the questionnaire developed has proved to be reliable and valid, (3) an exploratory factor analysis allowed us to determine 13 dimensions of quality in dial-a-ride services, (4) the most important criteria for users were identified, and (5) population segmenting variables by which subgroups of users can be categorized were also determined. Managerial implications of our results are also discussed.


Dial-a-ride services Quality of service Measurement scale Survey 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Paquette
    • 1
  • François Bellavance
    • 1
  • Jean-François Cordeau
    • 1
  • Gilbert Laporte
    • 1
  1. 1.HEC MontréalMontréalCanada

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