The table below has been drawn from the findings of the evaluation programme for Citizens’ Rail. In the left hand column are a number of quality indicators for rail services, information, collection and station areas.

They can give the evaluator a clear picture of the views of passengers on existing aspects of services and facilities, indicating what can be improved in order to increase ridership. Along the top row are a series of options which give the respondent the chance to detail the strength of their feeling about each aspect. These scales are termed ‘Likert scales’* and they are useful in understanding how the population of train users collectively regarding this. For example, you will see that the responses for cheaper fares lean more towards the higher end of the Likert scale options in comparison to accessibility.

This indicates that overall, people are more interested in saving money on their fare. Additionally, cycle parking is more evenly distributed across the five options, which suggests that the population are more split on their opinions of that aspect. By gaining a more detailed picture of passengers’ views on these elements, it is possible to isolate the areas where improvements can be made.

How much would the following encourage you to use trains more (Percent)? Not a lotA littleSomeQuite a bitA lot
More destinations offered19.718.
More frequent trains7.916.830.318.226.8
Better time keeping16.819.123.820.320.0
More comfortable trains15.924.723.219.716.5
Better connection with other trains/buses10.010.917.429.432.4
More information about train services17.623.827.617.413.5
Cheaper fares5.
Cleaner station15.926.226.518.812.6
Accessibility (ramps, lifts, etc)37.425.017.612.97.1
More security at the station20.922.625.318.812.4
Better station facilities12.922.928.521.514.1
A more welcoming atmosphere16.222.624.722.114.4
Easier to reach14.417.924.422.620.6
More car parking31.515.318.816.817.6
Secure bicycle parking35.311.815.316.820.9

*A Likert scale represents a means of generating a graded positive or negative response to a question. For instance a statement might be given and respondents asked to provide their level of agreement, ranging from: ‘Strongly disagree, through disagree, neutral and agree to strongly agree’. Typically 3,5 or 7 points are given on the scale, but any number within reason (under 10) may be used.