CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
In recent times, mass transportation has become a workable solution to an old age problem ofsustainable movement of people in great numbers from one place to the other with substantialtravel distances. Public transportation offers the convenience of moving easily between differentcities, towns and the movement of goods and services. Some key notable characteristics of publictransportation are safety and comfort, convenience, availability, affordability and costeffectiveness, which improve and increase the quality of life of a people, reduce trafficcongestion, improve rapid mobility, lessen the phenomenon of air and noise pollution, create jobopportunities and upgrade in infrastructure among others. These are all necessary indicators inproviding a level playing ground for the efficient and effective movement of people.Road transport continues to be a leading transportation mode within all major cities in Ghana.Ghana continues to develop rapidly and has attained the rank of a lower middle income country(World Bank 2011). Its capital Accra is situated on the southern coast, along the Gulf of Guinea.It is a city spread over an area of 1,390 square-kilometers. Ghana as a whole covers a geographicarea of 238,477 square kilometers (or 93,000 square-miles). The Accra Metropolitan Assembly(AMA) is the local government authority responsible for running the daily affairs of the city.Almost all passenger trips within the boundaries of the city are completed by private commercialmini buses popularly called “trotro” that operate like jitneys. This means they do not haveplanned schedules although they may run specific origin to destination routes or stopover atvantage locations. This unscheduled nature of their services results in lengthy travel times.Meanwhile, these mini-buses mostly have problems such as bad seat provisions, overloadtravellers, non-following their assigned routes, reckless speeding and driving.
1.2 Research Objectives and Research questions
1.2.1 Research Objectives
The broad objective of this research was to examine the relationship of service quality deliveryon passengers‘ satisfaction using the Bus Rapid Transit system in Accra, Ghana. The aim of thisresearch was to empirically measure the passengers or users of the BRT satisfaction level asagainst the quality of service received from management of the BRT using the SERVQUALmodel. Additionally, this research sought passengers‘ experiences in order give the managementa clear view of the BRT system‘s customer satisfaction level. Specific aims and objectives to beachieved are the following:1. The study seeks to find out the differences regarding perception and experiences of male andfemale as users of the BRT.2. To examine the influence of service quality dimensions on passenger satisfaction under theBus Rapid Transit system.3. To provide a breakdown of service quality attributes for the BRT system.
CHAPTER 2: STUDY DOMAIN
2.1 Study Area
Ghana is a sovereign nation in West Africa, which gained independence from British rule onMarch 6th, 1957. English is the official language of the country. The 2016 population estimatesstand at 28,033,000. Ghana is the second largest exporter of cocoa after Cote D‘Ivoire, the sixthexporter of gold and recently a major exporter of oil since it was discovered in commercialquantities in 2010. Ghana was declared by the World Bank into the ranks of lower middleincome country as been pursued in the introduction of Single Spine Structure by past and presentgovernments. Each day, half a million commuters‘ travel to the city of Accra to carry outprofessional, administrative, educational, commercial and industrial activities (World Bank,2010).The city of Accra is the administrative, political, and commercial capital of Ghana, West Africawith a population of above (4) four million people and a growth rate of 4.4% per annum (WorldBank GEF, 2006). Accra is bedeviled with numerous challenges regarding urban mobility of itsinhabitants comprising peoples of all walks of lives from one point to the other. This implies thatthere is a heavy demand for public transport services within the city and surrounding areasespecially in terms of more vehicles on the road and the need to commute from one place to theother. Accra‘s urban sprawl has moved away from what is known as ―compact city growth‖occasioned by high population densities with mixed land use and highly concentrated residentialpatterns. The Accra Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system implemented was a measure to improvepublic transport systems through improvement in efficiency and affordability, reduction incongestion as well as reduction in GHGs emissions within the city.
2.2 General Public Transport Situations in Ghana
Presently, in most urban areas across the globe, there are increasing numbers of vehiclesseeking to use rather limited and insufficient transportation infrastructure. This has resulted inhigher degrees of congestion and an increasing trend in the magnitude of travel timesexperienced by most road users. In most countries of the developed world, a conscious effort isbeing made to understand this phenomenon to enable prescription of appropriate remedies. Theurban transportation situation in most sub-saharan African nations is similarly deterioratingrapidly.In Ghana, the modern way of public transportation system dates back to 1898 when the first railline was erected from Takoradi to Tarkwa for the commercial exploitation of the precious goldmineral, and the first road counstructed between Accra Harbour (now Jamestown) and Dodowato Larteh in 1905 for the export of palm fruits.In 1927, the Accra Town Council operated bus services in Accra, Obuasi, Sekondi–Takoradiand Kumasi. However, many different governments over the years have established bus servicecompanies such as State Transport company (STC), the Omnibus Services Authority (OSA),City Express Services (CES), Intercity State Transport Corporation (ISTC), and lately MetroMass Transit (MMT) Ltd. for several reasons including government social responsibilities,environmental factors, energy concerns and the advancement of a well-organized masstransportation system to increase production and economic growth.
CHAPTER 3: THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK.......... 21
3.1 Theory of Sustainable Transport System and Sustainability .......... 21
3.2 Theory of Customer Satisfaction ........ 21
3.3 Theory of Service Quality........ 23
3.4 Chapter summary .............. 25
4.1 Literature Review on Service Quality............ 264
4.2 Conceptual model of the study............ 40
4.2.1 Justification of SERVQUAL model....... 41
4.3 Summary of chapter ...... 42
CHAPTER 5: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ........... 43
5.1 Study Population and Data Collection ........... 43
5.2 Respondents Profile ...... 44
5.3 Constructs Operationalization............. 46
5.4 Data Analysis ................ 47
5.5 Research Design............ 49
5.6 Steps in Methodology .............. 50
CHAPTER 6: STUDY RESULTS
6.1 Results of face-to-face InterviewOverview
Thematic analysis was chosen to analyze the results of the face-to-face interview since it wasqualitative research which involved a structured interview guide to solicit for opinions,viewpoints, and experiences from passengers. The analysis involved the identifying recurringpatterns across the transcribed speech and audio recordings to listen to data. ―Thematic analysisis a technique for identifying, analyzing, and reporting patterns (themes) within data. It classifiesand defines your data set in (rich) detail‖ (Braun and Clarke, 2006, p. 6). Thematic analysisinvolves a step by step guide which offers flexibility, highlights similarities and differences, andit is essentially a repetitive process in classifying themes.The ideas generated through the transcription were considered pertinent to the research toestablish links and relationships between themes and the whole data set was given equal attentionas well as full consideration given to repeated patterns. A total of eight face-to-face in-depthinterviews were conducted to give a bit of rigour to the research.
This research on finding the relationship between urban bus service quality and passengersatisfaction was focused primarily on how the expectations as well as the perceptions ofpassengers affect their satisfaction levels. Passenger satisfaction of service quality was viewed asa measure of comparison between pre-travel and post travel experiences. Furthermore, withregards to the SERVQUAL gap analysis carried out, two dimensions namely reliability andtangibility were found to have a positive relationship with passenger satisfaction while assurance,empathy and responsiveness had a negative relationship with passenger satisfaction. It wasbrought to light that passengers were satisfied with three dimensions but dissatisfied with threedimensions of the service quality variables understudied. Invariably service delivery did not meetall their expectations. The detailed findings are discussed below;Firstly, with regards to female perception of service quality of the BRT system services, it wasshown that there was no significant difference observed. This shows that gender didn‘t play asignificant role in the differences in perception. This finding is in line with Morton et al (2016)conducted a study on Customer perceptions of quality of service in public transport in Scotland.Research results showed that attitudes regarding quality of bus service vary significantly acrosspassenger groups with females largely exhibiting relatively negative opinions regarding thequality of service. It can be reasoned from literature that this can be due to the fact that femaleshave a tendency to express heightened concerns relating to safety considerations when usingpublic bus transport.