Public surveyed for RTD customer experience, community value

Eighty-one percent of RTD's fixed-route bus customers, 85% of rail customers and 91% of paratransit customers are satisfied with the agency’s service. Fare price is the most important element of service to bus and rail customers – and a factor drawing the lowest levels of satisfaction. And 86% of community members believe the agency brings value to the Denver metro region – but only 34% said they find RTD valuable to themselves.  

These are a few of many insights that emerged from surveys conducted to gauge customer experience about three modes of RTD services, as well as the community’s perceived value of the agency. RTD partnered with TransPro Consulting to conduct the Customer Experience and Community Value surveys, to establish baseline levels for metrics used in relation to the four strategic priorities identified in the agency’s current Strategic Plan, adopted by RTD’s Board of Directors in August.

Data for both surveys was gathered with more than 400 surveys administered each on bus routes and rail lines, collected by individuals onboard vehicles and at transit stations. More than 350 paratransit customers were surveyed by phone. The close to 400 individuals queried about agency value were reached by phone and live within RTD’s service district, including those who may not use transit services. Those results were weighted by age and gender to ensure that the data collected resembles the community RTD serves. The latter survey also included one-on-one interview with community leaders.

Plante Moran, the agency’s financial auditing consulting firm, independently reviewed the survey data and affirmed the results to be statistically valid at a 95% confidence level.

Additional survey insights include:

  • Fixed-route bus customers ranked fare price, route coverage and hours of operation as the most important elements of service
  • The most important service elements to rail customers: fare price, frequency and route coverage
  • RTD’s Net Promoter Score – a metric introduced in the Harvard Business Review, allowing for performance comparisons between organizations across different business sectors – is 5% higher for RTD’s bus service than the industry sampled average
  • For paratransit (Access-a-Ride) customers, on-time performance and drivers being friendly and helpful were ranked as the most important elements of service to customers
  • Access-a-Ride customers named on-time performance as the most important factor – and the factor with the lowest level of satisfaction
  • Community members identified the most important areas of focus as providing access to places of employment; providing transportation options to people with special mobility needs; and providing access to the region/adjacent counties

“As we move forward, we will see how this all comes to fruition in reference to ensuring that we are making better connections and improving the overarching aspects of our transit service delivery,” RTD General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson said.

To review the full presentation of the survey results to the Board, click here.