Customer survey results for 2013

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.

Metro’s Research and Development team has been gathering and analyzing data on Metro bus/rail users since 2003. The annual customer satisfaction survey was implemented to help inform transit planners and division managers of overall customer satisfaction, on-time performance, cleanliness, safety, as well as track demographic shifts in Metro ridership.

This year’s survey showed positive trends with regard to customer views on bus on-time performance, cleanliness of stations, median income of riders and an increase in bike usage as a means of getting to a stop/station.

One statistic of interest is the continued increase in cell phone, specifically smartphone, access (see the charts below). Services such as, the Go Metro App, and Google Maps are able to provide more transit users up to the minute information regarding Metro services. If you are one of the 47 percent of Metro users without a smartphone and/or you speak another language, don’t worry — Metro will continue to provide information in the traditional way.

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orangline Satisfied orangeline PROUD

RELATED POSTS: Compare this year’s results to last year’s survey.

New poll: Do dudes take up too much space on the train?

We just became aware of this interesting slice of the Internet: The “Men taking up too much space on the train” blog on Tumblr.

It’s a very simple blog: it’s a series of photos of men consuming one or more seats on trains. A few of the photos manage to be quite hilarious (if you’re into that sort of thing).

I couldn’t find any photos that were taken on Metro’s system — but wouldn’t be surprised if there are some on the blog roll. Is this a problem here? Take our poll!

Of course, the blog raises a whole other issue: when is it, if ever, okay to take photos that focus on individuals on trains and buses and post them on the Internet without their permission? I say this: Be polite and be artful. It’s probably best not to focus on any one person without their permission and instead take group shouts. Here are Metro’s photo guidelines.

One more PSA: Just a reminder that on the Metro system, it’s one seat per person. Kindly keep your feet (and other body parts) off other seats. If you have a lot of bags, please store them under your seat or use the open space reserved for strollers, luggage and bicycles (priority seating does not count). As more and more people hop on Metro trains and buses, we all have to do our part so everyone has room to ride.

Survey shows what patrons most want from an improved Union Station


A word cloud of write-in answers to the most desired amenities.

In a recent survey, Metro recently asked patrons what they would like to see in an improved Union Station. Among the upgrades requested:

  • Easier access to surrounding neighborhoods
  • Better connections between transportation services
  • More options for dining and shopping
  • Enhanced passenger information & help guides
  • Additional or improved signage
  • Better bicycle access and parking
  • Additional transportation options

Metro Research & Development worked with the Union Station Master Plan team to conduct the survey of Union Station visitors. The survey collected data on how people are currently using the station, as well as which new amenities are most desired in and around the new station. Metro purchased Union Station in 2011 and the Master Plan will create a blueprint on how to upgrade the station and develop the areas around it while, of course, preserving the famous structure.

The survey was conducted online from January 28 to February 6 and with paper surveys that were distributed in and around Union Station on Jan. 31. All told, 329 paper surveys and 1,735 online surveys were collected.

When looking at the results, keep in mind that web respondents tended to be less frequent users of the station (not regular-commuters), while paper survey respondents were more likely to use the station on a daily or weekly basis (regular commuters).


We asked patrons how they arrived at Union Station and how they left to reach their destination. Online survey respondents were more likely to be Metro Rail riders, and less likely to walk, bike or take Amtrak or Metrolink.


Presently, most people who frequently use Union Station are currently doing so only for transportation. However, others are also taking advantage of shopping, dining and recreational activities. A third of users are coming to the station for recreation and entertainment, and a quarter are using it for dining and shopping.


Out of 12 suggested improvements, seven stood out as being more desired than the others:

  • Easier access to surrounding neighborhoods
  • Better connections between transportation services
  • More options for dining and shopping
  • Enhanced passenger information & help guides
  • Additional or improved signage
  • Better bicycle access and parking
  • Additional transportation options

The other suggested improvements were:

  • More space to circulate through the station
  • More public art and activities on station property
  • More waiting areas and seating
  • Increased security
  • Additional parking (tip: there is usually space on level four of the parking garage).


More graphics after the jump — keep reading please! 

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New customer survey: what do you want in a bus headway sign?


Metro manages a fleet with 2,228 buses that averages more than one million weekday boardings. Our buses traveled over 70 million miles in 2012!

It is a big job to make sure everyone knows where all of these buses are headed. We could use your help ensuring that we communicate our bus destinations as clearly as possible.

Just click on the link below to take a short survey about bus headsigns. You could be one of five winners of a monthly TAP card! (You will have to fill out contact information to be eligible for the contest.)

Survey Link

Photo: Metro.

Photo: Metro.

Metro to redesign screen options on TAP card vending machines with feedback from focus groups


Metro recently eliminated paper tickets in favor of TAP cards – the reusable card stores passes and money. This cuts down on waste and makes buying and validating tickets easier. It will also be necessary for entering the turnstiles at all Metro Rail Stations, which are scheduled to be latched later this year.

As part of this process, Metro is updating the software on its TAP vending machines (TVMs) to make it easier for customers to purchase and reload TAP cards.

Recent focus groups of infrequent rail riders were conducted by Metro Research for the TAP group in both English and Spanish. The participants found that the current TVMs are difficult to use for first-time Metro riders (think tourists and event-goers as well as new riders). Participants said that the initial screen had too many options and was confusing.  They also said it was not clear how much the fare cost and that a reduced fare for seniors and disabled riders was actually offered on the machines. They also said it wasn’t clear when they could travel at a reduced rate.

TAP instructional posters posted in direct proximity to the TVMs appeared to make no difference as focus group participants said they were solely focused on the machine and the transaction.

The focus groups also previewed a couple of alternatives for a redesigned TVM screen.  The mock-ups were designed by the award-winning Metro Creative Services staff.  The focus groups saw the new design flow as less confusing, more intuitive and more user-friendly than the current screens. Follow-up focus groups will interact with the new software once it is loaded onto test TVMs at Metro headquarters.

What do you like or dislike about our current ticket vending machines? What would you like to see changed about them?

Metro rider survey infographic

Instead of posting the plain text from the latest Metro survey of bus and rail passengers, we  decided to give the numbers a graphical twist. As for the results, they’re pretty much in line with previous surveys. More info on how the survey was conducted below.

How the surveys are done

Every year, Metro conducts a survey aboard their buses and trains.  This is how we take “the pulse” of our riders. We send surveyors onto a sample of enough bus lines to account for 98% of our weekday passenger boardings.

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Transit riders survey: Tell us what you think

Passenger Survey - Tell Us What You Think

Metro recently launched an online survey to gather input from bus and train riders about Metro service. The survey aims to gather information on how riders are currently using the system and where and how Metro can better meet their needs.

Metro operates the country’s second largest bus system and a growing rail network. The survey is a chance to help the agency with the continuous improvement of its operations and to respond to customer concerns and recommendations. Need another reason to take the survey? One winner will be selected from each drawing period to receive a check in the amount of $250. The survey runs through March 31st.

Share your thoughts and help Metro improve its service by taking the online survey today.



2011 survey results of Metro riders; majority say they are satisfied with service

Each spring Metro conducts a survey of its bus and rail passengers to generate feedback about the agency. The 2011 survey was conducted last spring and summer with nearly 15,000 respondents. The results are posted below from both bus and train riders, along with the combined results.

As you can see, the results are not dramatically different than from 2010 — and the vast majority of passengers say they are satisfied with Metro’s service. The results also show another uptick in the number of Metro riders with cell phones — now 75 percent, with 64 percent of those smart phones — and a four percent increase in the number of passengers using TAP cards.

When reading the results, the first number is for “strongly agree,” the second number for “agree,” the third number for “disagree” and the fourth number for “strongly disagree.” As usual, Metro followed industry-standard survey practices.

What do you think of the results? Do they mirror your experiences on Metro? What do you think they say about the Metro system? Leave a comment please.

System Results S11

The individual survey results for bus and rail riders are posted after the jump.

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Missed the Green Line to LAX workshops? You can still share your thoughts by taking this survey

Green Line to LAX Community Workshops solicited comments from attendees.

Green Line to LAX Community Workshops solicited comments from attendees.

Yesterday was the last of the first round of community workshops for the the Green Line to LAX extension. According to the project team over 200 people attended the three workshops to learn more about the project and offer their input on how best to connect the Green Line to the airport.

If you weren’t able to attend the meetings, fear not, you can still share your feedback with the project team.

First, I recommend getting some background information on the project. This can be found on the project page on, the project’s Facebook page or right here on The Source.

Once you’ve done that there are a number of methods to share your input. First is the LAX User Questionnaire, a 16-question survey about how you currently get to LAX and how you’d prefer to get to LAX. Another option is to use this online comment/feedback form to email the project team specific comments.

Comments are requested by October 1, 2011.

Metro ridership shows slight uptick in May

Before I get to the latest ridership numbers, I wanted to include my daily nag to take our latest survey above — if you haven’t already. I suspect results from this poll, which I’ll discuss at a later date, may have something to do with the ridership numbers below.

As for the latest Metro ridership numbers from this past May, there was a slight increase over May 2010 (39,423,063 compared to 39,258,435). Most of the gains were on the bus side of Metro operations, but Metro Rail saw an increase, too.

Overall, Metro and many other agencies are still trying to reach ridership highs of 2008. On a national level, ridership was slightly up in the first quarter of 2011, according to stats compiled [pdf] by the American Public Transportation Assn.

The prevailing view among many agencies across the country is that the recession, unemployment, fluctuating gas prices, dips in funding for transit and accompanying service cuts have all impacted ridership in the past three years.

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