Service Quality of Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Community Transport Systems
Authors: Anabela Simoes, Ling Suen
Abstract: The paper aims at presenting a conceptual framework integrating a Service Quality Assessment Concept in a methodological approach towards inclusive, safe, sustainable, and resilient transport systems to accommodate everyone’s mobility needs. Despite the improvement of public transport systems around the world, many users perceive: 1. Poor accessibility in most public transport systems; 2. Existence of physical barriers to free mobility in urban walking areas; 3. Increasing frequency of unexpected incidences as new norm in this 21st century (floods, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, pandemics, etc.).Furthermore, as transport operations are dynamic, increasing the level of uncertainty, the entire system is susceptible to extreme stresses that could propagate shocks throughout the entire network. Such risks highlight the importance of safety and comfort along each trip, such as providing seats for all, avoiding crowds in the vehicle, on stops, stations, and waiting areas, with contingency transport services in case of incidents.Meeting individual and collective mobility needs within a community is influenced by the existing and planned land use and depends on the available transport services. Furthermore, the enormous dispersion of individual limits to a free mobility related to a disability, older age or any temporary or occasional impairment or condition, accessible and inclusive transport services are required to fit the user’s mobility needs. The steps of the planned trip, like connections to other vehicle or network, could impose some difficulties that should be previewed, offering solutions to avoid exclusion. Finally, a barrier-free walking environment to reach or leave a transport network should complete the requests for the provision of transport services to accommodate everyone’s activity limits.The proposed Service Quality Assessment model is based on the quality loop involving the users’ feedback and the transport operators’ awareness of the planned and actual service level. Innovative technology supporting an Immersive Virtual Environment as a design, testing, and demonstration tool, will be described to identify new needs, design, test and to apply new solutions.
Keywords: Accessibility, Inclusion, Mobility, Sustainable and Resilient Transport, Service Quality.
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