Suggest station locations for phase 1 of bikeshare program!

Bikeshare Interactive

Bikeshare Interactive

Metro is leading a regional effort to develop a user-friendly bikeshare system to increase transportation choices for people traveling to and from transit stations and making short trips. The program will provide a fleet of bicycles that can be borrowed from strategically placed bikeshare stations.

Metro is currently studying station locations in the Regional Bikeshare Implementation Plan and seeking input on areas identified for Phase 1 implementation: downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pasadena and Santa Monica.

Metro has proposed a number of initial launch stations. Let us know what you think of these locations by clicking ‘like’ or leaving a comment. If you know of a great spot for a bikeshare station, pin it on the map. If that location has already been suggested, you can tell us you ‘like’ it or give more information by leaving a comment.

Final bikeshare station locations will be determined by Metro, staff of Phase 1 cities and the bikeshare operator. Locations will be determined based on availability of space, right-of-way, ADA access, demand, support and numerous other factors. Implementation is currently planned for 2016.

With your help, Los Angeles County will be one step closer to a regional bikeshare system. Please visit the interactive map to make your station suggestions. Input will be accepted through September 8. For more information or to provide feedback, send an email to Bikeshare@metro.net.

Below is a short FAQ on bikesharing and station locations:

What is bikeshare?

Bikeshare programs provide a fleet of strategically located bicycles that can be borrowed for individual local trips. Bicycles can be returned to the same station or a separate one, depending on what suits your trip.

What makes a great bikeshare station location?

Bikeshare stations located near key destinations, rail and bus stations and within accessible distance of other bikeshare stations help people make trips.

What is Metro going to do with my proposed station sites?

Metro and implementing jurisdictions will consider all proposed station sites, comments, and ‘likes’ received as part of this process. Final selection of bikeshare station locations will take into account availability of space, right-of-way, ADA access, demand, support and numerous other items.

Why can’t I pin a station where I want?

We don’t want to waste your time—so we are limiting pins to areas being considered for Phase I. If you have other suggestions, please email them to bikeshare@metro.net

Which cities are being considered for Phase I implementation?

Downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pasadena, and Santa Monica are being considered for Phase 1. As part of the Implementation Plan, Metro will be studying areas suitable for Phase 2 implementation.

Why are only four areas being considered? 

Metro is launching bikeshare in areas that have proven feasible, have secured funding, and are located around Metro rail system. The rail system provides a backbone connection between the pilot cities. With an integrated system, a user can ride the first 1-3 miles to a transit station on a bikeshare bike, dock their bike, ride transit to their destination, and pick up another bike to complete the last mile of their trip. As with many other Metro services, the benefits of bikeshare extend beyond the the communities surrounding stations. Anyone who lives, works, travels through, or visits the pilot cities will be able to utilize bikeshare. As part of the Implementation Plan, expansion areas will be identified throughout the County for future phases.

When will bikeshare hit the streets of L.A. County?  

Los Angeles County is trying to accomplish a feat that no other region has been able to by creating one integrated, countywide system, which provides a seamless user-experience. Metro is working closely with jurisdictions and departments to make this vision a reality. Implementation is currently planned for 2016.

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 Metro.net, 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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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

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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).

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More graphics after the jump — keep reading please! 

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

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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

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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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