PASSENGERS PERCEPTION ON INTRA-CITY TRANSPORT SERVICES IN BENIN CITY ABSTRACT This study examines the perception of passengers of intra-city transport service in Benin City using Comrade Bus as case study. The study seeks to determine the perception of passengers on intra-city transport services provided by the State owned transport firm, it seeks to find out whether passengers are satisfied with the services provided by the State owned intra-city transport service. Determine the extent to which cordial relationship exist between passengers and service providers. Find out if the demographic variables such as sex, marital status, age and educational qualification has any significant influence on passenger’s perception. The population of the study comprises of customers of the Edo State owned intra-city transport service known as Comrade Bus in Benin City, Nigeria. In achieving the objective of the study, questionnaire was administered to a sample of 200 respondents. The statistical tools used in the data analysis includes simple percentage, frequency table, mean. T-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) +with the use of SPSS. From the analysis, result shows that passengers are satisfied with the services rendered by the service providers of the Comrade Bus. Findings also shows that gender and marital status has a significant influence on passengers perception of intra-city transport service in Benin City, whereas, age and educational qualification significantly has no influence on passenger’s perception. Based on the result of this study, it is recommended that the State owned intra-city transport service should improve the level of service quality and more effort should be made in to maintaining relationship with their customers. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background to the Study - - - - 1.2 Statement of Problem - - - - 1.3 Research Questions - - - - - 1.4 Objectives of the Study - - - - 1.5 Scope of the Study - - - - - 1.6 Significance of Study - - - - - CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Introduction - - - - - - 2.2 Concept of Quality - - - - - 2.3 Overview of Service Quality - - - - 2.4 Customer Satisfaction - - - - 2.5 Service Quality Theories/Models - - - 2.6 SERVQUAL Model - - - - - - 2.7 Factors Affecting Perception of Passengers towards Service Delivery - - - - - 2.8 Intra-City Transportation in Benin City - - - 2.9 Service Quality in Transportation Industry - - - CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY 3.1 Research Design - - - - - - 3.2 Population of the Study - - - 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique - - - 3.4 Research Instrument - - - - - 3.5 Validity and Reliability of the Instrument - - - 3.6 Method of Data Collection - - - - 3.7 Method of Data Analysis - - - - CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION 4.1Discussion of Findings - - - - - CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 5.1 Introduction - - - - - - - 5.2 Summary of Findings - - - - - - 5.3 Conclusion - - - - - - 5.4 Recommendations - - - - - - Bibliography - - - - - Appendix - - - - - - CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background to the Study In Nigeria, over the last three decades urban centers have been increasing at a rapid rate. This trend leads to urban explosion. The penalty for this agglomeration however, is not only that the transport requirements are concentrated in a small area where land becomes highly sought after and densely occupied by the activities which generate the transport requirements, but also greater demand for transportation facilities(Ogbazi, 1992) Okpala (1992, p. 12). Asserted that “a city is said to be only as big as its transportation facilities enable the people to go about their business, move and distribute their goods.” Transport is very necessary for the survival of modern society and without it there would be no life in the city (Onokala, 2001 p. 110). As an essential service in cities, transport enables people, firms and other organizations to carry out their activities at sites selected for these purposes in separate locations in the cities. Transport provides a key to the understanding and operation of many other systems at many different scales and is an epitome of the complex relationships between social and political activities and the level of economic development (Hoyle & Smith, 1992; p. 32). According to the World Bank Report (1975), transportation is the movement of people and goods from one location to another. Mode of transport includes air, road, rail and water. Terminals in transport may be used for both interchange of passengers and for maintenance. Vehicles travelling through this terminal may include automobiles, bicycles, buses, trains, truck, people, helicopters and aircraft operations. Badejo and Oyesiku (2002) defined transport as one of the elemental factors for any land use development pattern. It forms intrinsic part of settlement development needed to open up regions and provides access to natural resources. It also promotes inter-communal trade and mobilizes territorial defense. Peter (1982) in his study on transport and society submits that transport usually stimulates and enhances productive use of human development of any society. The transport system in Benin, the Capital City of Edo State caters for more than 1.5 million people and it faces numerous challenges, efforts of the government to improve the system notwithstanding. The complex and heterogeneous traffic pool, largely dominated by private vehicles, most of which are poorly maintained and inadequate enforcement of traffic rules creates serious and unbearable congestion and heavy pollution of the city environment (Chung, 2010). This situation is further compounded by the dwindling efficiency of service delivery of the Edo City Transport Services (Oiboh, 2010). To improve the public bus transport system in Benin, it is important to elicit insights from actual passengers of the system about their perception and changes they would like to see to better meet their needs. This is because the provision of public bus transport services is passenger-centered. 1.2 Statement of Problem In the past decades, the city has been experiencing rapid population and expansion of its environment due to influx of migrants from rural areas to it (Onokala, 2001). These have led to the extension of low-income unplanned settlements on the city peripheries (Aribigbola, 2008) and workers from the areas are exerting increasing pressure on already inadequate public transportation facilities. The high cost of car purchasing and maintenance in Nigeria now due to economic meltdown, the spreading of suburbs and transformation of villages into dormitory settlements, have also created residential-to-work transportation problem in Benin City as a result of inefficient mass transit systems especially bus system (Ezema, 2004). In the view of these problems in the State, government agencies as well as independent entrepreneurs have been involved in the provision of intra-city public passenger transport services to meet the ever-growing demand of mobility in the city. For instance, the Edo State Government and other Local Government Areas such as Ovia North East Local Government and Egor Local Government Authorities established different mass transit bus system to improve and moderate the intra-city transport services in the State. Unfortunately, all the government owned mass transit bus systems in the city of Benin have not been able to meet up with the demands of providing sufficient bus transport services leaving the greater proportion of bus services to private independent entrepreneurs. In the consequence, the City and State at large witnessed increased number of private cars and became notorious for its chaotic traffic that was compounded by the ban on commercial motorcycle operators (Aliogo, 2014). Between 2007 till date, the state government led by Comrade Adams AliyuOshiomhole embarked on massive rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads in the State which has enhanced intra-city mobility of the residents. In addition, the state government launched the Comrade bus transport services with over 50 luxury buses with the capacity for 52 passengers sitting and 30 passengers standing to operate transport services (Aliogo, 2014). On Tuesday June 13, 2013, the Edo state government banned the use of motorcycle in three major local government areas in the State (Oredo, Ikpoba–Okha&Ovia North East respectively) with a plan to provide public transport services along major streets in the city to ensure smooth traffic flow and the safety of the residents in the city. Laudable as these efforts by the governments and private independent entrepreneurs to provide bus transport services for mobility in the State were, not much success have been recorded by them in terms of meeting the needs of the people. This is because the services that the government owned buses provide are insufficient to meet demand and the services that are provided suffer from low output (Ukponmwan, 2012). 1.3 Research Questions The following questions are raised to guide the study: What perception does passengers have about the use of the state owned (Comrade Buses) bus service in Benin City? What are the factors responsible for the patronage of the State owned buses in Benin City? Does the attitude of workers of the State owned Buses affect passenger’s perception? 1.4 Objectives of the Study The main objectives of this study is to examine the perception of passengers of government owned intra-city transport services in Benin City popularly called comrade bus. Specifically the study seeks to: Determine the perception of passengers toward Intra- City transport services in Benin City Ascertain the extent to which cordial relationship exist between passengers and service providers. Examine the influences of demography variables on passenger’s perception on intra-city service in Benin City. 1.5 Scope of the Study For emphasis and accuracy, this research work is designed to investigate the perception of passengers on intra-city transport service in Benin City with particular reference to Comrade Bus from 2013-2015 1.6 Significance of Study The importance of this study cannot be over emphasized as this research aims at serving dual purpose, which is to the researcher and the society. The research investigation will help broaden the researcher’s knowledge on the practical aspect of his profession. On the other hand, results of this work will serve as a source of reference to other researchers and students alike Information generated in this study will be immensely helpful to Edo state government and in particular the Edo State Ministry of Transport as it concerns transport policies and implementation. Findings from the research will help determine and boost the need for adequate means of transportation to a growing economy like that of Edo state and propel both the government and individuals into transportation services in the state This study will be useful to many sectors of the economy, as little research has been done on this area. Thus road transport companies, Ministry of Works, Transport, will benefit immensely from this study. For example the transport companies like God is Good Motors, Bob-Izua motors will know how to help their passengers learn from the mistakes of the state owned transport services and get more idea to innovate new ways of giving the passengers comfort for their journey and better payment services.
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