For more than a decade, Metro’s Research & Development team has been gathering and analyzing data on Metro bus/rail users. The annual customer satisfaction survey was begun 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.
Overall, Metro bus and rail riders both saw slight increases in median income, as well as a decrease in the percent of riders below the poverty line. This was coupled with a decrease in car ownership for both bus and rail riders, as well as a decrease in the percentage of people who either drove to their first Metro stop/station or were dropped off there. Although income and car ownership have, historically speaking, been positively related, that relationship may be weaker today than in the past. This could possibly be due to a nationwide movement of young adults choosing to forgo the added costs, parking burdens, and risks of owning an automobile.
Another statistic of interest is the continued increase in cell phone, specifically smartphone, access (37 percent of Metro riders had a smart phone in 2009 compared to 57 percent in 2013). Services such as Metro.net, the Go Metro App and Google Maps are able to provide more and more transit users up to the minute information regarding Metro services.
As the adoption rate of smartphone technology increases, Metro’s ability to quickly, accurately, and easily provide transit users with important information is augmented greatly. If you are one of the 43 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.
Metro R&D is interested in your opinion, and we are constantly looking for ways to better serve the needs of our diverse ridership. If you would like to have your voice heard, please click here.
If you would like to have a look at the Spring 2013 results, please click here.