Critical factors for service quality in the intercity bus transport industry
South Africa will host the Soccer World Cup in 2010. About 2.7 million local spectators and 400,000 visitors need to be transferred to and from the 10 host cities in 43 days. This is a huge challenge to the intercity bus transport industry, because the current transport system may not meet the demand for one of the world’s largest sporting event. The purpose of this study is to identify the current barriers to good service quality in the intercity bus transport industry. It focuses on the measurement of service quality and communication. In this research, the literature survey defined the service quality “gap” in this industry, identified the role of effective communication in the service delivery system, measured the variables affecting current service delivery using the SERVQUAL instrument, and prioritized the importance of the factors influencing service delivery in this industry. A questionnaire with 25 questions was designed to collect data. This study used convenience sampling to select 400 passengers as a sample, viz. 348 South Africans and 52 foreigners at the Durban bus station, since Durban is one of the ten host cities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The data was analysed using SPSS. The results of this research pointed to the importance of external communication in the industry. Specific recommendations are made to improve the productivity, reduce vacancy rate and maximize the benefits to this industry in 2010 and beyond.