Latest customer satisfaction survey

Click above to see larger version. The individual pages are posted at the bottom of this page.

Above are the results from Metro’s semi-annual onboard customer satisfaction survey. Those who have followed this blog in the past will recognize many of the questions — and may notice a few new ones.

A few results worth noting:

•Since the survey began in 2003, bus rider satisfaction had never matched or surpassed rail satisfaction. However, in the Spring 2016 survey, bus rider satisfaction surpassed rail rider satisfaction by two percent and those percentages held steady into the Fall 2017 survey.

•The percentage of Metro Rail riders who have been riding for five or more years has decreased since 2015. That’s probably due an influx of new riders on the Expo Line and Gold Line extensions (both opened in 2016) and the loss of some long-term riders.  

•The percentage of those who used bikes or skateboards to reach their first bus stop or rail station has dipped since 2015. Here are the complete numbers: 

Bus 2015: 3% biked and 2% skateboarded (5% total)

Bus 2017: 2% biked and 1% skateboarded (3% total)

Rail 2015: 4% biked and 3% skateboarded (7% total)

Rail 2017: 4% biked and 2% skateboarded (6% total)

While neither biking or skateboarding ever had a large first-mile mode share (the majority of riders walk to the bus or train) both decreased in 2016 and stayed at that level in 2017. This downward shift coincides with Metro’s implementation of free transfers in late 2014, which we think has resulted in people catching transit closer to home and work.

Reported sexual harassment saw a slight increase from the previous year from 14 percent to 15 percent. Although this is within the survey sampling error, this is the first increase since Metro implemented the survey question in 2014, but is still lower than when the question was first asked.

After the 2014 survey found that 22 percent of passengers reported unwanted sexual contact while riding on Metro,  the agency launched an “It’s Off-Limits” campaign in 2015 to combat sexual harassment on the system. The agency in 2017 added a hotline (844-Off-Limits or 844-633-5464) people can use to report harassment. The agency also increased the number of police on buses and trains last summer.

•Smartphone ownership continues to increase among riders. Bus riders saw a one percent drop from 2016 to 2017, but numbers are still way up for both bus and rail since the current version of the question was first asked in 2014.

What do you think of the survey? Questions? Leave a brief comment please and we’ll try to answer promptly.

If you are interested in looking at all survey results from 2003-2017, they can be found here at Metro Research’s webpage.


21 replies

  1. I have noticed the concerted effort by LAPD at the Red Line during the morning hours (5:30 am). Happy that they are there. However, it’s like trying to stomp out ants during an elephant stampede. When entering the train, we have to deal with the homeless and “sleepers” who take up more than their share of seats, and no one wants to sit near them as they stink and are filthy.
    Would it not be more efficient and effective to prevent these people (non-paying, by the way) from even getting past the turnstile, as opposed to try (unsuccessfully mind you) to get them off the train.
    It’s like a cat and mouse game with these people – and Metro is loosing the game.
    It is also a joke how you place Metro Police at the exits as one comes out of the trains on-mass. One can easily see the non-payers go around the gauntlet. It’s pretty ridiculous. Those that are stopped just get-off with a warning anyway. It’s time to get serious before you loose more ridership.

    • Good point. I have called numerous times and reported the same thing and Metro’s answer? “Well, maybe they have tickets – you don’t know…” so I replied, “Then why not ask them.” They had no answer. They don’t want to know. And on the Blue Line, you KNOW that someone with a cartful of empty cans and bottles for Slauson does not pay $1.75 for a ticket when they only get 3 cents a can back.

  2. After a two year hiatus, I took the Blue Line to Long Beach. And before we even left 7th Street, a food vendor was hawking his wares as the engineer was getting into his cab to start the no vendors allowed recording with the instructions on how to notify him if there was a food vendor in the car.

    And seven different vendors made appearances during the trip along with one of the most aggressive panhandlers I’ve ever seen, who physically pounded his collection cup into everyone’s chest.

    And then there were the usual thugs who wandered around propositioning the women and trying to intimidate anyone wbo tried to stop them.

    And during all of this, there were non-stop LOUD announcements that this type of behavior was not allowed.

    • The Blue Line has, by far, the highest number of violations on the system. I’ve seen police presence on Expo and Gold frequently, but rarely ever on Blue. Could it be a jurisdiction issue? On numerous occasions I’ve seen LAPD ride both Expo and Gold lines within city limits. Can’t ever recall seeing an LA County sherif officer on the Blue line.

  3. I’ve been riding Metro all of my life, since the early days of the RTD, Mainly out of sheer necessity. If I could afford a car, I would NEVER ride this abhorrent transit system: and I’ve yet to EVER have been given a survey. I live within walking distance of the Expo Line and I have on several occassions encountered issues with assault, sexual harassment and people smoking weed and cigarettes on platforms and on trains. There are LAPD officers around, but they’re the slowest most ineffective officers they could’ve found to “secure” stations. There is a guy who rides the Expo line to Crenshaw station almost every day from 7th Street Metro center. He assualts people who are not his race (i.e. Hispanic, White, Asian, etc.), whom he perceives as being weaker than him and who he believes to be homosexual. I’ve seen him harass, bully, intimidate, assault and attempt to assault passengers multiple times. Others have also witnessed his actions. A few weeks ago, I stopped 4 of these so-called LAPD officers for help that day with apprehending this guy. There is camera footage of that guy assaulting passengers everywhere he goes. LAPD has NOT GOTTEN BACK TO ME, even after I gave them ALL of my information to contact me. That means that NO one is safe on Metro as long as authorities and LACMTA continues overlooking these immediate threats. We need ACTIVE, FIT, AND CURRENT officers on every train and bus. THE MONEY IS THERE, SO THERE ARE NO EXCUSES. Start truly caring about rider safety. The moment I have a car, I’m never coming back to Metro and I advise everyone with cars to do everything you can to STAY IN YOUR CAR!

    • The most recent crime stats on the Metro system are posted here:

      FWIW, this past January there were 3.3 part one crimes per million boardings (part one crimes are the most serious crimes). I’m sure many of us would like that number to be zero per million boardings and Metro and its law enforcement partners will continue to try to lower the number further (it has gone down in recent times). The reality, of course, is that Metro and all transit systems are part of the world that surrounds us. I don’t like to say that as an excuse, but I do think it’s a reality we have to acknowledge.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Remember the man who was killed at the Rosa Parks station a year ago (something like that)? I know it was at night but not after midnight, from what I recall. Well, that was my co-worker’s uncle – doing nothing, just waiting, attacked and killed by two girls on the platform. There’s no security out there. We get wackos at least once a week even now. We need the Guardian Angels like they had in NYC because Metro or the LAPD and certainly not the “security” officers are there to protect us – and with no incidents being handled, there are no crime stats – and the mayor can keep on reporting how wonderful the train system is.

  4. The 20% data point of riders being sexually harassed on rail is a condemnation of Metro’s failure. I doubt guys are being harassed, so there is nearly a 40% chance of women being harassed. No wonder only the very poor ride. This a scandal.

    There are cameras in the cars and they obviously need to be put to use. Officers cannot be in every cars, but the public needs to be encouraged to use their cell phone to report serious incidents and officers immediately responding at the next stop.

    It bears repeating, 20% is a disgraceful number and lowering should be a priority at Metro. I would never recommend any female members to ride Metro if that never changes.

    • problem with reporting problems on the Red Line is that not everyone can get a signal underground and you cannot go over and alert the driver at that time – what good is it to record on the cameras to be played back later?

  5. The police presence has definitely increased at the rail stations, as a frequent rail patron, I see it daily. I dont ride the buses so i cant speak on that. The problem with most of you folks is, you think the police can realistically be at every station, every bus stop, every bus ride, etc. It is not possible for feasible. Just like any street corner where crime occurs, do you expect police to be present at every single street throughout the City? For some reason, Metro is held to a higher standard and it usually comes from unreasonable folks.

    • No one expects the LAPD to be everywhere and Metro certainly discourages them from being on the trains anymore than the minimum (per MTA folks) but the early morning riders need security. The people behind the emergency buttons only pay attention when someone crosses the yellow line and the train operators don’t watch the cabins in real time. The “security” people on the Blue Line do nothing, even if someone is yelling and making a fuss. But management has pretty much told all of them to do nothing about anything they see. “Us folks,” as you call us, just want to get to work safely – and there’s no one paying attention. I’ve seen guys jump on the tracks (no reaction), wear a belted machete (nothing) but when he crossed the yellow line, ehhh! The few of us down there couldn’t have gotten to the emergency box if we had wanted to because he was strolling back and forth. And recently, there was a crazy guy who almost attacked us and demanded to see what was in my work bag – luckily someone else came by and we got away. We are not being unreasonable – we just want to be good passengers and get to work and back home safely.

  6. What crazy survey is this? I’ve been riding more than 15 yrs and fear for my safety daily – that’s why ridership is down not Expo – almost got attckd today even – need security early morning before 6 – no one I know wud ever give high marks to Metro as it is today

  7. Although I’m a MTA retired employee and can ride free I usually walk instead riding the bus when my car is in the shop. The last time I utilized the bus for a long distance commute I along with the rest of the passengers were subjected to two on board verbal disturbances one of which attacked those on the bus who were veterans. Unlike when I was still with the agency I stayed out of the confrontations. During my thirty one years with the RTD/MTA , six of which I was a Bus Operator I never observed such behavior that was not addressed by the Bus Operator. When I commented about it, he stated this was now normal several times a day.

    • I agree with you fine7760. My late Uncle, Edmond Mouton Sr, drove for RTD/MTA out of Division 16 for 25 years before retiring in 1997. Transit safety has definitely gotten progressively worse. I hate that we have to ride out of necessity, and I’m doing my best to get a vehicle soon. I and my teenage daughters have been accosted multiple times in the past year and, neither Metro nor LAPD do anything to stop it. It’s disgraceful! But we civilians are chastised for carrying concealed firearms to protect ourselves.

  8. Please have police more effective by protecting the riders after they have entered the station rather then checking cards at exiting it doesn’t protect any riders. This only makes sure people paid rather then protecting the riders from start to finish.

    • And this. When they are ready standing at one end of the platform, and a full train arrives, they’re blocking the way for people to enter the platform, and catch a train. They also ignore the people exiting out the Emergency exit on the other end. I have a monthly pass, this is demeaning and sometimes caused me to miss the crosswalk, signal.

  9. It would be useful to have the LA County averages graphed alongside the demographic data. How does it skew compared to the average?

    Also, for rail how does it break down by line? And for busses, how does it breakdown by service area?

    Also, the first graphics with the curved lines should be going up, not down. The higher the better. As is it is opposite of the innate way people think.

  10. Please lower the volume of and frequency of announcements on rail lines. Too loud (actually painful to the ears), and too many, not to mention too wordy.

    • This. If we want to be a mature city, the only regular announcements we need are “Next Stop, Expo/Crenshaw. Transfer available to the Expo Line” before stations, and then just a simple “Expo/Crenshaw” announcement when the doors open. The fare paying, rule abiding, and sexual harassment announcements could probably be dialed back as well to be not as frequent and long. Also, those closing door chimes and announcements are way too much. Just a simple “doors closing” followed by 5 short beeps and then the doors immediately closing would make things so much more peaceful. We got to stop acting like we are totally new to public transit and everyone is a first time rider who needs to know which block each station is and all the destinations around it.

      If there’s any announcements I think would be cool to add, would be to copy/mimic Tokyo Metro announcements at the Little Tokyo stop, Seoul Metro at the Ktown stations, and maybe HK MTR announcements at Chinatown.

      • I’d actually like platform announcements like MUNI: “2 car N train in 3 minutes, followed by L train in 6 minutes”.

        CTA’s “doors open on the left at Addison” might be helpful in the pre-stop announcement.