Santa Monica Lookout
|Survey Finds Most Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Passengers Satisfied with Service||
By Niki Cervantes
August 2, 2016 – A new survey of Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus passengers found that most are from outside the city, more than half of them commuters, and that nearly all are satisfied with the service.
Nearly all passengers questioned also said a pleasant driver makes for a good bus trip.
With the arrival of Expo prompting restructuring of nearly all bus routes, the survey by Maroon Society Research Strategy Solutions, Inc., is meant to understand customer perceptions and satisfaction and how to attract new riders, a July 19 update to the City Council said.
More than 90 percent of BBB customers are satisfied with service, “with satisfaction linked to Motor Coach Operator behavior, especially in greeting customers.”
It also found that 93 percent of customers felt safe on board BBB buses. Almost a third are students, with slightly more than a third of BBB passenger customers between the ages 14 and 24 years old.
More than half of all BBB riders commute to work, it said.
The research is part of BBB’s long-term strategy “to provide enhanced service and connectivity to customers, while keeping pace with Metro’s light rail expansion,” Edward King, director of transit services, said in the report.
“The report establishes benchmarks of customer perceptions and travel behavior which will be used to measure against future customer perception research." under contract with the City.”
Maroon Society’s 5-year $379,890 contract was approved by the council in October of 2015. BBB is using the company to help conduct biannual surveys and reports. The BBB was already conducting surveys every three years, but none were designed to understand customer attitudes in depth, King said.
About 80 percent of the customers speak English, with about 44 percent of all riders Hispanic. Fifty-six percent of all surveyed ride the bus at least five days a week, the survey found.
More than half, or 56 percent, pay cash fares and about the same percentage uses transfers. Slightly more than 30 percent transfer within the BBB system and five percent transfer to and/or from Metro Light Rail.
The survey found 78 percent of riders reside and begin their trip outside of Santa Monica, with 62 percent from Los Angeles and 16 percent from Santa Monica. Some passengers did not provide zip code information.
The survey was conducted between January 23 and February 2. More than 3,200 random surveys on all 20 BBB routes were conducted in English and Spanish, the report said.
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