Train passing through a station at high speed captured as motion blur

METPEX: A MEasurement Tool to determine the quality of the Passenger EXperience



Total value of project



Project team

Professor Andree Woodcock (PI), Dr Jane Osmond, Professor Nigel Berkeley


The METPEX consortium was coordinated by Andree Woodcock at Coventry University and brought together 16 European partners from 12 countries:

Coventry University (IT and L, SURGE, SGI), UK; Interactions, Ireland; Signosis, Belgium; ITENE, Spain; Zurich University, Switzerland; Euroklies, Italy; Politechnico di Turino, Italy; AnGRE, Greece; KTH, Sweden; Integral Consulting, Romania; FIA, Belgium; TERO Ltd, Greece; Smart Continent, Lithuania; SBOING, Greece; VTM Consultores, Portugal; Coma Servizi per la Mobilita, Italy.

Duration of project

1/11/2012 - 31/12/2015

Project overview

METPEX arose out of the need to increase sustainable transport and reduce carbon emissions in urban areas.

One way of achieving this would be by increasing the number of users of public (and active) transport. A necessary first step in shifting perceptions of PT is the need to create a set of inclusive, reliable and validated measurement instruments to measure  the quality of whole, multi modal journeys.

Two central arguments of METPEX were that:

 1) travellers would only be attracted to public/active forms of transport if they are perceived to be of high quality;

 2) that the whole journey experience needs to be the focus of attention as this corresponds to mobility patterns.

Existing measurement instruments were reviewed to have several shortcomings. For example, they may have been developed to measure just one stage of the journey (e.g. the journey on a tram, train, or bus), rarely included transitional points or reported results (e.g. issues with stations and stops) which were not the direct responsibility of the commissioning operator, may not have been validated, were not inclusive and failed to consider the whole journey.

Therefore METPEX aimed to develop a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which could be used by transport operators and authorities, local authorities and other interest groups to measure the quality of the whole journey experience. The project sought to capture multimodal experiences by measuring travel experiences from journey planning to arrival at destination, allowing for measurement of multimodal experiences derived from the use of buses, trains, trams, urban waterways, walking, cycling and driving. Mindful of the need to be inclusive the project specifically addressed the needs of ‘traditionally hard to reach groups’. These were defined as commuters, women, travellers with children or other dependents, the elderly, young people, rural dwellers, those on low incomes, with communication difficulties and mobility impairments.

In order to develop the KPIs the relative importance of over 1000 potential factors was evaluated. The most important of these for each transport mode, traveller type and quality factor were used to create the METPEX measurement instruments delivered to travellers in retrospective (paper based and web online), real time (game and navigation apps) and focus groups formats.

Trials of these tools were conducted in Bucharest, Grevena, Coventry, Rome, Vilnius, Dublin, FIA network, Stockholm and Valencia in order to collect Pan European data from which the final KPIs could be developed.

The results showed that overall travel satisfaction reported by different travel mode users correlate with different key determinants, different user groups have different needs, the determinants of satisfaction may vary depending on the main travel modes and the complexity of the journey (in terms of trip composition). The effects of insecurity and tension among special needs travellers in particular may damage their confidence to travel independently as and when they want.

Using the results, a series of robust KPIs were developed which may be used to measure overall satisfaction, or different aspects of the journey, for different user groups and modes of transport. The results were fed back to stakeholders in order to inform current transport systems, assess the usefulness of the METPEX toolset and inform the business plan.

In summary, METPEX:

  • Conducted two Pan European surveys in order to develop KPIs
  • Gathered feedback from stakeholders to inform future development of the METPEX toolset and assess the impact of user experience on transport policy
  • Delivered a conference, policy recommendations, communication and business plan
  • Created a matrix for the evaluation of innovative technologies to support integrative accessibility
  • Developed a method for the classification of land use types in connection with accessibility, and a new definition of accessibility
  • Developed strategies for creating accessible and optimized transport systems

Project objectives

Scientific and technical objectives were:

  1. To develop an integrated approach to the measurement of the whole journey passenger experience that takes into account human (physiological, perceptual, cognitive, sensory and affective) socio-economic, cultural, geographic and environmental factors.
  2. To assess the costs of ‘inaccessible transport’ for different sectors of society (such as those from low income groups, rural communities, the elderly, disabled and those with lower levels of literacy).
  3. To assess the extent to which the measurement of the passenger experience can be used to drive innovation and attention to transport quality from the customer’s perspective in the transport industry.
  4. To evaluate the passengers experience from different regions of Europe and to support the integration of regional transport networks into an European transport network.
  5. To facilitate the harmonization of travel behaviour research and analysis across European Union Member States.
  • The potential impact on transport may be considered at different levels based on expressions of interest received during the project. The METPEX conference showed an appetite at EU level for work which addresses wider accessibility, sustainability and inclusivity issues.

    Stakeholder engagement has revealed a split between the interest of transport and local authorities in whole journey issues, and transport operators who are interested more in service provision and competitor analysis.

    The reviews have shown on the one hand, gaps in knowledge regarding the use, formulation and inclusivity of quality indicators, and on the other the lack of integration of accessibility with land use planning and emergent themes which will transform transport services.

    Mindful of these changes, the KPIs, survey instruments and tools developed in the project will form a basis for future work (e.g. through the inclusion of whole journey, different traveller groups and active and new forms of transport).

    EU Level impact
    • Whole journey philosophy, KPIs, new definition of accessibility, linking accessibility to land use, identification of gaps in knowledge.
    • Shaping of EU transport and research agenda.
    • Foundation for future projects.
    • Increased recognition of quality issues.
    • Harmonisation of transport research.
    National level impact
    • Recommendations, KPIs.
    • Ensuring increased inclusivity of transport provision.
    • KPIs to form basis for national quality indicators, to sit alongside performance indicators.
    Local (city) level
    • KPIs, evaluation matrix for assessment of technology to support integrative accessibility, strategies to deal with transport changes.
    • Increased validity, reduced cost of surveys.
    • Enhanced decision making so that the right technology is purchased.
    • Based line strategies for addressing systems level changes which need to made to address emergent issues.
  • The exploitable foreground consists of:

    1. The KPIs which can form the backbone of a decision support system for transport policy makers that are interested in implementing a human-centred transport system. Namely:

    • 14 Super Quality Indicators which include all the aspects covered by the initial list of indicators, namely Accessibility to transport services and infrastructure; Availability, adequacy and quality of pre-trip and travelling information; Safety and Security on board, interchanges and waiting spaces; Adequacy and quality of infrastructures; Travel experience on board; Reliability of services; Value for money; Availability of ticketing options and fares; Comfort of facilities and/or vehicles; Satisfaction for users of motorised private transport means; Satisfaction of specific needs for different users groups; Possibility and easiness of intermodal journeys; Availability of services; Staff helpfulness and behaviour.
    • 25 in-depth indicators dealing with specific aspects of the perceived quality of service.
    • 23 mode-specific quality indicators for the following 7 different travel means: train, underground, tramway, buses, pedestrian, bikes and private cars.
    • 30 user group-specific indicators for the following 10 different traveller profiles: women, commuters, elders, young, low income dwellers, visitors, rural dwellers, travelling with children, mobility restricted and communication impaired.
    • 7 indicators specifically dealing with communication restricted and mobility impaired passengers using public transport.
    • 15 indicators (8 of which are shared with the previous 4 subsets) focusing on specific phases of the journey experience, such as travelling on a vehicle, waiting at the bus stop or collecting information before starting the journey.

    2. The matrix for the evaluation of technology to support integrative accessibility.

    3. Strategies for responding to transport changes.

    4. Concept of ‘crowd sourced dynamic surveys’. These have been developed jointly by the consortium and are provided as open source documents. The SbNavi app was developed by Sboing, in consultation with members of the consortium, and is fed by questions developed by the consortium.

    The project team participated in over 150 individual events from the start of the project to  2016. These have featured dissemination to local stakeholders (to inform strategic developments, at national conferences and workshops (both industrial and academic), EU (e.g. TRA conferences, POLIS, TRANSED, Humane Cities, AHFE, HCI) and international conferences (China, Australia, US).

    A selection of material authored by the PI includes:

    Woodcock, A. & Tovey, M., (2020) Designing Whole Journey, Multimodal Transport Provision.  The Design Journal. 23, 1,  91-112

    Tovey, M., Woodcock, A. & Osmond, J. (eds.) (2017). Designing Mobility and Transport Services: Developing traveller experience tools. Oxon: Routledge

    Woodcock A., Susilo Y., Diana M., Abenoza R., Pirra M., Tovey M. (2018) Measuring Mobility and Transport Services: The METPEX Project. In: Stanton N. (eds) Advances in Human Aspects of Transportation. AHFE 2017. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 597. Springer, Cham.

    Diana, M. et al (2016)  Development of an integrated set of indicators to measure the quality of the whole traveller experience. Transport Research Procedia, 14, 1164-1173

    Yusak O. Susilo, Oded Cats, Marco Diana, Gabriela Rodica Hrin, Andree Woodcock (2015) Implementing a Behavioural Pilot Survey for the Stage-based Study of the whole Journey Traveller Experience, Transportation Research Procedia, 11, 172-184

    Social media:

    Sessions from the final conference in full  from a series of links 

    Interviews with project partners 

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