San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans)

CA: SamTrans Survey Finds Customers are Satisfied with Service

SamTrans is in the business of getting people where they need to go, and results of a recent survey confirm that they are doing that.

The results indicate that SamTrans customers are satisfied with the service. In addition, the results demonstrate that SamTrans is serving the county’s most vulnerable residents. More than 40 percent of riders surveyed earn less than $25,000 and most don’t own a car.

Every three years, SamTrans conducts a comprehensive survey of its passengers to understand its customer base and to measure their satisfaction. The survey is an important tool in planning service, understanding how riders are using SamTrans and how the agency can best connect with and retain those customers while attracting new ones.

“Knowing our customers means we can target marketing efforts and services in a meaningful way,” said Rita Haskin, executive officer of customer service and marketing. “SamTrans is a service and it’s our responsibility to understand who our customers are.”

The most recent survey collected data from nearly 6,000 respondents across 44 weekday and 24 weekend routes in English and Spanish. SamTrans operates a total of 49 routes.

The survey found that 66 percent of SamTrans customers ride five or more days a week and 67 percent of the agency’s passengers don’t own a car, underscoring the important role that public transportation plays in providing freedom and independence for county residents with limited transit alternatives.

In addition to the high percentage of customers who rely on SamTrans, the survey also found, unsurprisingly, that nearly 75 percent of all trips are taken to get to either work or school.

“Without access to SamTrans bus service many customers would not be able to get to work,” said Haskin. “Public transportation plays a vital role in strengthening the economy by keeping the workforce moving and this survey validates that.”

SamTrans customers also are satisfied with the service. On a scale of one to five, with one being very dissatisfied and five very satisfied, overall customer experience was rated at 4.21. Customers rated the top three attributes to be availability of information on buses, cleanliness of buses and feeling of personal safety on buses.