Modelling automobile users’ response pattern in defining urban street level of service
This paper presents a qualitative study on automobile users’ response pattern to assess the provided transportation service quality under heterogeneous traffic flow conditions. An Automobile Users’ Satisfaction index (AUSi) is established using data sets of questionnaire survey collected from 34 urban street segments of three midsized Indian cities. About 977 respondents with a suitable cross-section of gender, age, driving experience etc. were participated in travellers’ intercept survey. Rasch Model (RM) was applied to identify a set of quantitative measures to analyse the complex process of measuring perceived service quality and degree of drivers’ satisfaction together. The present study comprehends the multidimensional nature of users’ perception to evaluate AUSi with the help of six-dimensional variables such as roadway geometry, traffic facilities, traffic management, pavement condition, safety and aesthetics. RM offers a particular score to each user and each dimensional attribute along with a shared continuum. This way, the attributes those are more demanding to produce satisfaction as well as the variation in response of different modes of transport are evidently identified. The key findings indicate that the participants reported lower satisfaction level mainly due to the absence of separate bike/bus pull-out lanes, improper parking facilities and interruption by non-motorised vehicles/public transit or roadside commercial activities. Fuzzy C-Means (FCM) clustering was applied to classify AUSi scores into six auto Levels Of Service (LOS) categories (A–F) for each street segment. The model was well validated with a significant matching of predicted Automobile users’ LOS (ALOS) service categories with the users’ perceived Overall Satisfaction (OS) scores for fourteen randomly selected segments. This prediction model is new to mixed traffic flow condition, which uses linguistic information and real-life issues of drivers for the current state of services. Hence, the proposed method would be more credible than conventional models to support the decision makers for long term planning and designing road networks on a priority basis.
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