This article first appeared in the Railway-News magazine Issue 5 2021.
As the world’s population emerges from the COVID crisis, it is clear that demand for rail travel is growing, and industry experts even suggest that passenger numbers could grow by 18% compared to pre-pandemic Televic GSP levels. This trend is fuelled by the fact that societies around the globe are increasingly recognising the benefits of rail over aviation.
The recent reintroduction of sleeper trains, particularly in the EU, proves that people are keen to travel this way – but only if the rail service is competitively priced, safe and comfortable. As a result, managing passenger comfort is becoming crucial to ensuring customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Even though increasing numbers of business and leisure travellers are turning to rail, the key to retaining them as customers lies in guaranteeing an experience that matches their expectations. From the initial ticket purchase in the station to the railcar, the rail industry needs to offer experiences that make passengers eager to return again and again – particularly now that their experiences can be accurately measured and reported on.
Today, the industry has unprecedented opportunities to comprehensively monitor the comfort of its passengers’ experience.
Back in the 1970s, academic researchers Osborne and Clark from the University of Swansea in Wales began establishing systems that measure passenger comfort and tried to obtain assessment results using questionnaires and surveys. Their research focused on how best to obtain quantitative assessment data from a survey, leading them to study the best methodologies for assessing passenger comfort in two areas. The first area concerns aspects of the transportation system itself, such as ride, carriage and organisational comfort. The second area has to do with behavioural aspects. Their research offered them a new understanding of passenger comfort, a definition of the concept of comfort, and insights into its relationship with passengers’ other travel experiences and complementary factors that influence comfort: temperature, ventilation, illumination, photic stimulation, pressure changes, travel length and task impairment.
Railway-News magazine Issue 1, February 2023: Televic GSP - Smart Lifetime Extension Makes Your Railway Fleet Last.
Railway-News magazine Issue 3, September 2022: Televic GSP - Digital Fallback Increases Availability and Cost-Efficiency of Audio Communication Systems.
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