by Guest Blogger Carrie Anderson-Watters, TransIT Services of Frederick County
You may be surprised to learn just who rides the buses in Frederick, and how satisfied they are with the service.
TransIT operates nine Connector routes in Frederick and the surrounding urbanized area, five shuttle routes between Frederick and outlying communities, and countywide paratransit service. This year TransIT will provide approximately 900,000 passenger trips.
In June, TransIT conducted its triennial Customer Satisfaction Survey, which allows TransIT to gauge customer satisfaction, collect demographic data, and solicit comments and suggestions from its passengers.
The survey was conducted over a three-day period, and when customers returned a completed survey, they received a coupon good for one free ride during the following week. This year, nearly 1,000 surveys were completed and returned on the Connector routes alone! Nearly 700 individual free-ride coupons were redeemed.
The surveys were tallied, and the demographic data paints a picture of a typical TransIT bus rider. She is female, young (between 18 and 35) and English is her first language. She is employed full-time. She does not have a car and considers herself unable to drive, relying on TransIT because it costs less than driving. As her primary mode of transportation, she uses TransIT to get to work daily or several times per week, and has been doing so for more than three years. She relies on schedule brochures for TransIT information, though she does have access to the internet.
The customer satisfaction data indicates that she, and the vast majority of Connector bus passengers, are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with every aspect of TransIT service, including:
- system safety and security (98%)
- vehicle cleanliness (98%)
- public information brochures (97%)
- driver courtesy (97%)
- on-time performance (96%)
- usefulness of the website (96%)
- cost of bus fare (95%)
- telephone customer service (92%)
- convenience of bus routes (92%)
- convenience of bus stop locations (90%)
- bus service hours (79%)
Customer comments and suggestions were many and varied but included many requests for later weeknight service and Sunday service. It’s clear that TransIT customers want more of the service they enjoy until 9:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
TransIT ‘s customers aren’t the only ones who rate the service with high marks. TransIT’s peers have high opinions of the system as well. In 2010 and 2011, TransIT was named the “Best Paratransit System in Maryland” by the Transportation Association of Maryland (TAM), and in 2012 and 2013, TransIT was awarded “Best Fixed-Route System in Maryland” by TAM! Our drivers are regularly recognized for excellence by being selected as TAM’s “Driver of the Year”.
TransIT is committed to providing high-quality public transportation, paratransit, and commuter services in a safe, dependable and courteous manner to all passengers, and strives continually to increase customer satisfaction. If you have never taken a ride on a TransIT bus, you should give it a try! Save money, do your part to save the environment and improve air quality, and leave the driving to us!