oa Journal of Contemporary Management - Internal service quality and employees’ perceptions of rail commuter service quality in Johannesburg

Volume 16 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



Public transport especially commuter rail in large cities is difficult to manage in terms of meeting commuters’ expectations. Johannesburg, which is served by the Gautrain and Metrorail which serve different customer segments, faces huge service quality problems. This study investigates employee perceptions of service quality offered to rail commuters from a provider’s perspective. A descriptive research design was applied. Independent samples t-test was used to test the differences in employee perceptions. Canonical correlation analysis (CCA) was used to investigate the relationship between internal service quality (ISQ) and employee perceptions of service quality offered to customers. A significant difference between Gautrain and Metrorail employees’ perceptions of service quality was established. A direct positive relationship was established between ISQ and employee perceptions of service quality. Although Metrorail offers a highly subsidised service it still struggles to meet its customers’ expectations, hence it should focus on ISQ to improve its overall service quality. The low service quality at Metrorail and the likely customer segment that Gautrain targets could be discouraging public transport adoption by the middle level commuters who might not be covered by the two operators. The findings make a contribution to urban public transport literature by establishing a relationship between ISQ and external customer service quality.

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