Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Associate Director/ Head of Bus Benchmarking



+44 (0)20 7594 1519m.trompet




607Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

13 results found

Ait Bihi Ouali L, Graham D, Trompet M, Barron Aet al., 2020, Gender differences in the perception of safety in public transport, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A: Statistics in Society, Vol: 183, Pages: 737-769, ISSN: 0964-1998

Concerns over women's safety on public transport systems are commonly reported in the media. In this paper we develop statistical models to test for gender differences in the perception of safety and satisfaction on urban metros and buses using large-scale unique customer satisfaction data for 28 world cities over the period 2009 to 2018. Results indicate a significant gender gap in the perception of safety, with women being 10\% more likely than men to feel unsafe in metros (6% for buses). This gender gap is larger for safety than for overall satisfaction (3% in metros and 2.5% in buses), which is consistent with safety being one dimension of overall satisfaction. Results are stable across specifications and robust to inclusion of city-level and time controls. We find heterogeneous responses by sociodemographic characteristics. Data indicates 45% of women feel secure in trains and metro stations (respectively 55% in buses). Thus the gender gap encompasses more differences in transport perception between men and women rather than an intrinsic network fear. Additional models test for the influence of metro characteristics on perceived safety levels and find that that more acts of violence, larger carriages, and emptier vehicles decrease women's feeling of safety.

Journal article

Morse L, Trompet M, Barron A, Anderson R, Graham Det al., 2020, A benchmarking framework for understanding bus performance in the U.S., Benchmarking: an international journal, Vol: 27, Pages: 1533-1550, ISSN: 1463-5771

Purpose This paper describes a benchmarking framework applied to medium-sized urban public bus agencies in the United States which has overcome the challenges of data quality, comparability and understanding.Design/methodology/approach The benchmarking methodology described in this paper is based on lessons learned through seven years of development of a fixed route key performance indicator (KPI) system for the American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG). Founded in 2011, the ABBG is a group of public medium-sized urban bus agencies that compare performance and share best practices with peers throughout the United States. The methodology is adapted from the process used within international benchmarking groups facilitated by Imperial College and consists of four main elements: peer selection, KPI system development, processes to achieve high-quality data, and processes to understand relative performance and change.Findings The four main elements of the ABBG benchmarking methodology consist of eighteen sub-elements, which when applied overcome three main benchmarking challenges; comparability, data quality, and understanding. While serving as examples for the methodology elements, the paper provides specific insights into service characteristics and performance among ABBG agencies.Research limitations/implications The benchmarking approach described in this paper requires time and commitment and thus is most suitably applied to a concise group of agencies. Practical implications This methodology provides transit agencies, authorities and benchmarking practitioners a framework for effective benchmarking. It will lead to high-quality comparable data and a strong understanding of the performance context to serve as a basis for organizational changes, whether for policy, planning, operations, stakeholder communication, or program development. Originality/value The methodology, while consistent with recommendations from literature, is unique in its scale, in-depth validation

Journal article

Trompet M, Anderson RJ, Graham DJ, 2018, Improved understanding of the relative quality of bus public transit using a balanced approach to performance data normalization, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Vol: 114, Pages: 13-23, ISSN: 0965-8564

In order for bus operators and/or their respective authorities to understand where service quality can improve, it is useful to systematically compare performance with organizations displaying similarities in types of services offered, operational characteristics and density of the service area. These similar characteristics enable peer organizations to benchmark performance once their operational data are normalized for differences in scale of operations. The most commonly used normalization factors for the demand side output are passenger boardings and passenger kilometres. For the supply side output these are vehicle kilometres and vehicle hours. Through twelve years of experience in the International Bus Benchmarking Group (IBBG) a better understanding of differences in service characteristics between ‘similar’ peers has been achieved, which highlight a challenge for the interpretation of normalized performance. It became clear that relative performance should often not be concluded from performance indicators normalized in a single dimension. Variety between peers in commercial speed, trip length, vehicle planning capacity, vehicle weight and network efficiency result in the need for a bi-dimensional or balanced approach to data normalization. This paper quantifies the variety within these operational characteristics and provides examples of the interpretation bias this may lead to. A framework is provided for use by bus organization management, policymakers and benchmarking practitioners that suggests applicable combinations of denominators for a balanced normalization process, leading to improved understanding of relative performance.

Journal article

Mundy D, Trompet M, Cohen J, Graham Det al., 2017, The Identification and Management of Bus Priority Schemes; A Study of International Experiences and Best Practices

Priority measures for bus services can deliver significant benefits both for passengers and the operator. For example, green light priority or the conversion of road space to dedicated bus lanes can deliver journey time (variability/predictability) benefits thereby improving both quality of service and operational efficiency. This study investigates how bus priority schemes are identified, selected and managed in 14 different cities across Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. The study reviews the decision making processes, including associated input from bus operators, involved in identifying necessary bus schemes. The study provides examples of succesful and unsuccessful bus priority schemes and methods of bus priority enforcement are explored to establish interesting and successful ways to ensure bus priority measures can be effective. This report may be useful to different stakeholders experiencing difficulties with bus priority selection, implementation and management, such as city/ borough governments, road authorities, bus operators, passenger groups, police, and other organisations.


Morse L, Trompet M, Barron A, Graham DJet al., 2017, Development of a key performance indicator system to benchmark relative paratransit performance, Transportation Research Record-Series, Vol: 2650, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 0361-1981

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. US transit agencies are therefore required to offer services to eligible customers that complement the mobility opportunities provided to the general public on fixed-route public transit. While these paratransit services are necessary and just, they represent a proportionally large cost to agencies: approximately eight times the cost per boarding compared to fixed-route bus service. To be able to identify opportunities for (cost) efficiencies, and to further improve the quality of paratransit services offered, the twenty agencies of the American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG) decided to benchmark their relative performance in paratransit management and operations. To ensure comparability of agencies’ performance and hence ensure the usefulness of the benchmarking program, a key performance indicator system was developed and associated data items were defined in detail. The scope of this system went beyond the data already provided to the National Transit Database, both in amount and granularity of data collected, as well as the detail of definitions. This paper describes the challenges, respective solutions, and other lessons identified during four years of paratransit benchmarking development led by Imperial College London, the ABBG facilitators. The paper provides transit agencies and authorities as well as benchmarking practitioners and academics an opportunity to apply these lessons for the further benefit of paratransit services and their customers around the U.S.

Journal article

Cohen JM, Trompet M, 2015, Propulsion technology trends across major bus operators in Europe, North America and South-East Asia, 43rd European Transport Conference

Conference paper

Trompet M, Anderson, Richard, Graham, Daniel J, Condry, Benet al., 2014, Performance Benchmarking: Lessons Learned from Years of International Transit Benchmarking, Transportation Research Board

Conference paper

Trompet M, Parasram R, Anderson RJ, 2013, Benchmarking Disaggregate Customer Satisfaction Scores Between Bus Operators In Different Cities and Countries

Directly comparing the satisfaction of customers of urban bus operators in different cities and countries is methodologically challenging due to the different surveys used, different sample frames, different response collection methods and the possibility of cultural bias. Nonetheless, due to the importance of customer satisfaction, the members of the International Bus Benchmarking Group started a research project in 2009 to overcome these challenges. The objective was for bus operators to understand the relative performance in meeting their customer’s expectations and to be able to target those areas in which they relatively underperform. Between 2009-2012, eight to ten participating organizations annually posted identical surveys on their website homepages in the same period. This paper describes the survey and data normalization methodology developed within the International Bus Benchmarking Group that provides managers of these organizations with a comparable view of their customer satisfaction. The described methodology has been successfully tested in the bus industry but can also be applied to other industries where there is a wish to benchmark customer satisfaction amongst other national and international peers.

Journal article

Trompet M, Graham DJ, 2012, A Balanced Approach to Normalizing Bus Operational Data for Performance Benchmarking Purposes, 91st Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting

Peer organizations in a performance benchmarking group are usually carefully selected based on similar characteristics such as the type of services offered, operational characteristics and density of the service area. These similarities enable organizations to compare performance once their operational data are normalized. The most commonly used normalization factors for the demand side output are passenger boardings and passenger kilometres. For the supply side output these are vehicle kilometres and vehicle hours. Through seven years of experience in the International Bus Benchmarking Group (IBBG) a better understanding of differences in service characteristics between ‘similar’ peers has been achieved. It became clear that relative performance can often not be concluded from a performance indicator normalized in one dimension. Variety in commercial speed, trip length, vehicle capacity, vehicle weight and network efficiency results in the need for a multi dimensional or balanced approach to data normalization. This paper quantifies the variety within these operational characteristics and provides a framework for benchmarking practitioners and policymakers that suggests applicable combinations of denominators for a balanced normalization process. This paper further describes how alternative normalization factors such as revenue service planning capacity kilometres and total tonne kilometres have improved comparability of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Conference paper

Trompet M, Liu X, Graham DJ, 2011, Development of Key Performance Indicator to Compare Regularity of Service Between Urban Bus Operators, TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD, Pages: 33-41, ISSN: 0361-1981

Journal article

Trompet M, Anderson RJ, Graham DJ, 2009, Variability in Comparable Performance of Urban Bus Operations, TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD, Pages: 177-184, ISSN: 0361-1981

Journal article

Randall E, Condry B, Trompet M, 2007, International Bus System Benchmarking: Performance Measurement Development, Challenges, and Lessons Learned, Transportation Research Board 86th Annual Meeting

This paper reviews the development of a standardized measurement system for the purposes of benchmarking the performance of a group of major urban bus systems from around the world. The set of performance measures, known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), identifies bus systems who perform exceptionally in their operation. Developed from past benchmarking experience and a literature review, and modified based on member input, the KPIs provide a means of comparing performance from a variety of bus systems each operating in a unique operating environment. Practical experience with the KPIs has identified a variety of challenges in collecting consistent and comparable data from the bus benchmarking systems. Overcoming these challenges, producing comparable data, and conducting research to identify and understand the basis for good performance has been a process that offers lessons for other benchmarking efforts. This paper reviews (1) the principles of the group’s benchmarking process, (2) the performance measurement development process, (3) issues with data collection and compatibility, and (4) some results of the benchmarking.

Conference paper

Anderson RJ, Hirsch R, Trompet M, Adeney WEet al., 2003, Developing Benchmarking methodologies for Rail Infrastructure Maintenance Management Companies, European Transport Conference

Public transport benchmarking has been growing in use. However, a recent literature review carried out by the authors has revealed that its practical adaptation to the railway industry has largely been confined to either the operation of trains, or the operation of single, vertically integrated railways. The paper describes methodologies developed and tested for the benchmarking of railway infrastructure companies. Much of the work has been conducted as part of a 5th Framework research project for the European Commission (IMPROVERAIL: IMPROVEd tools for RAILway capacity and access management). The paper will also present results from a pilot project that applies the methodologies and has involved the participation of several national railway infrastructure providers. It is argued that the benchmarking of complex and heterogeneous railway infrastructure companies presents particular problems. These must be overcome if any benchmarking process is to yield true comparability and thus any practical value. Railway infrastructure company benchmarking is due to become more important following the vertical separation of trains and infrastructure, not only amongst European Union national railways, but also elsewhere in the world where vertical separation is undertaken within public transport. The approach to benchmarking suggested by the research and applied in the pilot project takes a non-traditional view of railway infrastructure providers, focusing primarily on the concept of entities rather than functions. The traditional view of a railway infrastructure provider is of an organisation made up of a number of separate functions, e.g. operations, engineering, finance, etc. The new approach taken is to look at the entities contained within a railway infrastructure provider. An entity is defined as a product (such as the provision of a defined type of railway infrastructure), an asset or a process. In many cases the management of these entities cuts across functional boundar

Conference paper

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