An individual’s perception plays an important role in determining the decisions that people make involving the use of public transportation. An individual’s perception about the qualities of transit service might differ from the objective measures (“reality”) of service quality used by planners to make and evaluate decisions. This study explores the roles of perception and “reality” of transit service quality as influences on the attitudes and behaviors of two different groups of transit dependent riders after a major service change in Tallahassee, Florida. Using a combination of community surveys, key informant interviews, and agency data, the study finds that perception mattered more than “reality” as an influence on the attitudes and behaviors of the two groups. The need for more effective outreach to understand the reasons that individual perception might differ from the objective measures used and understood by transit professionals also emerges as an important lesson of the study.
Bhattacharya, Torsha, et al.
The Effects of Perception vs. “Reality” on Travel Behavior after a Major Transit Service Change: The Case of Tallahassee, Florida.
Journal of Public Transportation, 17 (2): 1-26.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jpt/vol17/iss2/1