Passenger satisfaction of interpretive programs: evaluation of the National Park Service and Amtrak partnership
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The Trails & Rails program is an innovative partnership between the National Park Service and Amtrak. It allows train passengers the opportunity to attend educational programs focused on the natural and cultural heritage along selected routes. In 2005, over 400,000 passengers attended in the Trails & Rails programs. Other than anecdotal evidence, little information existed on passenger satisfaction. This pilot study measured satisfaction of the Trails & Rails program by surveying rail passengers on two trains in the mid-west region, using the Expectancy- Disconfirmation theory. Independent samples t-test were employed in the study. Results revealed that passengers were satisfied with the Trails & Rails program, including measures of interpreter characteristics, message quality, and program benefits. The findings provided useful implications for the program development and marketing strategy.