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

Julie Paquette, François Bellavance, Jean François Cordeau, Gilbert Laporte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (SciVal)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-564
Number of pages26
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation


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