JH Dammert, Golden Arrow Bus Services corporate affairs executive
Golden Arrow commissions a biennial customer satisfaction survey to measure how effective our services are in meeting the needs of our 230 000 passengers. The survey measures passengers’ perceptions and expectations of the services, in line with the performance and evaluation criteria of the operating subsidies allocated by government and international best practice benchmarks.
The 2016 survey was independently conducted by the Department of Mathematics and Physics of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and took place between May 9 and 13 this year.
A total of 2 573 passengers were surveyed face-to-face at major transport interchanges including Golden Acre in Cape Town, Town Centre in Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Bellville, Killarney and Wynberg.
Seven major service attributes formed the basis for the perceived service quality (PSQ) index and these included: affordability, convenience and accessibility, physical quality of service, on-board experience, safety and security, customer relations and staff courtesy and corporate citizenship.
The demographic profile of GABS passengers reveals that there is a 60/40 split in favour of female passengers with most self-identifying as black African (59 percent) or coloured (38 percent).
In terms of the total number surveyed, 75 percent are currently employed; with an even split of 44 percent without a matric qualification and 43 percent matriculants. Most passengers earn between R2 000 and R9 000 a month in take home pay, with 67 percent earning less than
Half of GABS passengers scored as “satisfied” on the PSQ index , while 11 percent scored as “Very satisfied”. About one-third of the passengers fell into the “neutral” range, while a small minority could be classified as “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied”.
When asked directly about their overall level of satisfaction, 69 percent of passengers scored a 4 or 5 out of 5, indicating a moderate to a high degree of satisfaction. Furthermore, fully 90 percent of passengers indicated that they would be willing to recommend the GABS service to others.
On the whole, the results of the survey confirm that GABS is serving its passengers well across all indicators of service quality.
There are, however, areas where improvements can be made.
Based on an importance-performance analysis (IPA), areas identified as priorities for intervention include availability and condition of bus shelters (a municipal function), level of safety from crime at bus stops and terminals, amount of time spent waiting for a bus, availability of route and timetable information, availability of buses when needed, and convenience of bus stop locations.
Golden Arrow will carefully study all of the findings in order to address the concerns raised by the survey. Where the issues raised do not fall within our authority we will continue to lobby those responsible. We would also like to urge all our passengers to contact us with any concerns or suggestions that they may have as it is our firm belief that the customer survey is only part of the continuous process of gauging the needs of our passengers.