CUSTOMER SATISFACTION FROM PUBLIC SERVICE OBLIGATION (PSO) ROUTES: THESSALONIKI AS A CASE STUDY
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Public Service Obligation (PSO), passenger satisfaction, Thessaloniki, Greece
Ten years after the implementation of the Public Service Obligations (PSO) scheme in Greece, the mechanism has not led to the desired results. Among others, the state has imposed PSOs onto a number of routes that are either of questionable social value or which could prove financially self-sustainable without the need for a PSO after appropriate consultation with key stakeholders. In this context, and given the dearth of resources during a period of severe economic recession, it is necessary for the government to reconsider the structure of the PSO programme and adjust it to the new reality in Greece. In fact, as a first step towards this direction, the present paper seeks to gather all necessary information using the tools of marketing research, to study customer satisfaction and fulfilment of passenger needs on the PSO routes from/to Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece. Based on the results of primary data research, the paper aims at contributing to the effective communication of the value of the PSO routes to the passengers and set the fundamentals for a subsequent undertaking of a full marketing plan on how to render such routes financially viable.