Commuter satisfaction inn Klang Valley is always a subject of debate between services the commuters and the service provider. While the volume of commuters’ demand for mass transport increases, the train operators are consistently complaining about less ridership and full utilization of its train facilities for the public to recognize it as a sustainable public means of transport. KTM service had improved in select areas in its service such as increased frequency of train arrival, longer running time hours, improvement in delay time, and added capacity. However, commuters are still not satisfied enough about the quality of service they are getting from the train service provider. There are questions that still linger within the commuters and the service quality researchers regarding the level of negative and positive perception of the riding public about the train services in Klang Valley.
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How bad is the perceived quality of service?
Which areas in the service should be enhanced?
These are the questions that need to be known. The results in this study provide insights on the commuter’s perception about the KTM in Klang Valley. Thus, the findings demonstrates that from the customers’ point of view the, comfort, accessibility, frequency, comfort, safety, convenience, and information exchange in train operation were the factors attributed in establishing quality of service of KMT. On the other hand, other factors such as capacity and infrastructure of the train are not significantly influenced. According to the findings of this study, KTM should be able to increase the level of satisfaction it is getting from the commuters by addressing the weak areas in its services. In addition, KTM should be able to improve its service quality in terms of enhancing frequency, information exchange, and accessibility by providing a suitable mitigating approach to the aforementioned problem areas. It is also recommended that future researchers should also investigate and compare commuters’ opinion regarding KTM and other mass transportation mode. Commuter trains in general are optimized for optimum passenger capacity, without having to sacrifice comfort and space.
In Klang Valley, KTM is among the commuter train service that is operating to serve the daily commuting need of the people in the area. Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB). Given the popularity of train transport mode today in Klang Valley, the need for an effective and efficient public is facing challenges to improve its quality or service as observed in the mix perceptions from commuters. More importantly in order to overcome problems such as timeliness and accessibility, the Klang Valley train services should start considering commuter inputs in order to deliver a sustainable form of mass transport in the area. Besides that, the mass transportation industry in Malaysia is facing a tight a competition with each other in terms of attracting more commuters and gain more profit. It is imperative that KTM address its quality of service level to achieve progressive future and to strongly compete with the other mass transportation providers. This is because commuters nowadays are becoming more demanding in terms of service quality. The right value for their money is what people expect in a form of impeccable service quality.
Customers usually evaluate service quality as a total experience, thus, failure to address service quality issues tend to result to as low ridership, and or marginal revenue. In a diverse society, transportation quality is detrimental to the establishment of safety and convenience for the passengers (or travelers). The demand for better services is imperative for the commuter’s transportation choices. In the transportation industry, the primary objective of the consumers is not only limited to price and convenience, but also includes safety, comfort, and accessibility. Furthermore, customer loyalty is detrimental in ensuring continuous ridership, thus entails a close consideration for satisfaction. This can be determined from the service quality offered by the train provider as it is also being used as one of the most widely used indicators of success.
The user category in the determination of service quality level is consists of innovations, reliability, comfort, information exchange, safety, convenience, and accessibility. The performed survey creates an overall picture of the current service quality situation in the KMT and is likely in all other train services in Klang Valley. For instance, the low satisfaction rate achieved by KTM from commuters in terms of accessibility indicates that there is a need for KMT to look at its current infrastructure, policies, and operational practices to determine the key areas that needs to be addressed in order to improve the accessibility aspect of service quality. In addition, the low satisfaction rate of timeliness encompasses the obvious lack of adequate resources of KMT in terms of funding and or facilities. Although the overall satisfaction rate still defeats dissatisfaction, the marginal difference gap between satisfaction and dissatisfaction demonstrates that KMT is in a dire need of a major operational restructuring. For example, of the possible cause of delays in train departure and arrival is insufficient coach. This area can be improved by optimizing resources and or by seeking external and public funding to subsidize the cost of operating multiple coaches that can provide adequate capacity.
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Accessibility on the other hand, encompasses the needs relevant partnerships with other mode of transport that ensures ease of access to the stations. For instance, the survey revealed a significant number of commuters based on the sample size either walk or using their private vehicles to get to the train station. This presents an opportunity for KTM to increase its commuter satisfaction level making it possible for commuters to reach the train station through a convenient and uniform means of alternative transport. For example, a subsidy from public funding or external investors would enable KMT provide a shuttle service situated in locations that walking train commuters are taking going to the station. This strategy exhibits the commitment of KTM in going the extra mile with the service it provides to the commuters. In addition, this is one way for the train provider to enhance ease of access and deliver the service beyond the scope of its operations. Considering that the train agencies adopt the aforementioned strategy, there is a possibility to further increase ridership. The results of the survey provides a clue to the options that KTM and the rest of other train service providers in Klang Valley can take to improve its quality of service.
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