Quality of public transport service in the city of Lusaka: a case study of the minibus service on the great east road.

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Choongo, Benson
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The University of Zambia
Public transport is important for the well-being of any country in the world. Having a well planned and efficiently managed transportation system brings many benefits to the people. Public transport is adversely affected by rising incomes, urban sprawl, and undeveloped road systems, spatial-development mismatches which worsens traffic conditions in the developing countries. Traffic congestion can contribute to poor quality of public transport service in the City of Lusaka. Service quality needs to be assessed to establish whether it meets the needs of the service users. Customers’ assessments of quality of service include perceptions of multiple dimensions of the service. The research was done to assess the quality of public transport service on the Great East Road which had the second highest traffic volume of 31,000 vehicles per day in the City of Lusaka in the year 2009. The Independence Avenue had the highest at 47,000 vehicles per day. Primary and secondary data collection methods were used. The primary data was collected from key informants using interview guides and questionnaires while secondary data was collected through review of documents such as books, journals and others related to the topic. Two methods of sampling namely Purposive Sampling and Convenience Sampling were used to determine the samples. A total of 20 minibuses, 20 minibus drivers and 20 commuters were therefore used in assessing quality of the public transport service on the study route. Five (5) institutions namely Departments of Physical Planning and Housing (DPPH) and Housing and Infrastructure Development (DHID), Lusaka City Council, (LCC), Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) and the Ministry of Transport, Works Supply and Communications (MTWSC) were used to provide information regarding the quality of public transport service on the study route and the City of Lusaka as a whole. Direct observations by the researcher was another method used for data collection to capture the actual prevailing situation regarding the subject matter. Observations were also made to achieve material truth and inductive reasoning. To assess the quality of service, The Reliability, Extent of Service, Comfort, Safety and Affordability (RECSA) approach which has five dimensions of quality of service was used. Findings showed that public transport service quality was unreliable, inadequate, uncomfortable, unsafe and unaffordable to service users. Recommendations such as the introduction of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) were made towards improvement of quality of public transport service according to the five dimensions of service quality assessment of RECSA.
Thesis of Masters degree of Spatial Planning