Variation in bus transit attribute perceptions between Australian cities

Hesara Weliwitiya, Mustafizur Rahman, Steven Horvat, Knowles Tivendale, Graham Currie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper explores user/nonuser perceptions of bus transit attributes in Melbourne, Sydney, and South East Queensland (SEQ). It aims to understand the relative importance and performance of various bus transit attributes and how the assessment varies according to city, socioeconomic cohort, and user/nonuser groups. Primary data were collected via a screening survey, enabling a very large sample (n = 13,537) and a smaller, more representative subset collating more detailed survey data (n = 2,420). Personal safety stood out as a key bus transit attribute of importance in all cities. Specifically, safety when traveling on the bus during the daytime and at night, and safety getting to and from the bus stop were ranked as very important bus transit attributes. Some findings differed by region: service levels, punctuality, frequency, and timetable adherence (reliability) were rated relatively high in importance but low in performance in Sydney and Melbourne compared with SEQ. This suggests that Melbourne and Sydney might require service-level improvements more immediately than SEQ. Implications for policy for each Australian metropolitan region (Sydney, Melbourne, and SEQ) are later discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalTransportation Research Record
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Dec 2023


  • bus operator safety
  • buses
  • market
  • public transportation
  • transit safety and security

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