Metro News Release

For immediate release: September 12, 2007

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Metro makes a good impression

A new survey finds the vast majority riders like Metrorail and Metrobus, and almost all would recommend Metro to a friend or relative.

A second survey shows mass transit is largely competitive with the automobile as a preferred way to travel throughout the region.

Earlier this year, Metro conducted two surveys—one that measures the satisfaction of Metro riders and a second that gauges the perception of mass transit among Metro riders and non-Metro riders in the region—and now the transit agency is sharing the results.

Metro’s Customer Satisfaction Measure (CSM), an ongoing survey of Metrobus and Metrorail riders, finds that 87 percent of Metrorail riders and 81 percent of Metrobus riders are satisfied with Metro service. The numbers have remained consistent since 2004 when Metro started the customer satisfaction survey. In addition, 96 percent of Metrobus riders and 98 percent of Metrorail riders said they would recommend Metro to a friend or relative.

The CSM surveys 200 Metro riders by telephone each month. It also collects demographic data about Metro riders. Survey data shows that 66 percent of Metrobus and 53 percent of Metrorail riders are female, 59 percent of Metrobus and 80 percent of Metrorail riders have college degrees, and about 80 percent of both bus and rail riders are employed. Also, most Metro riders have access to automobiles—80 percent of bus riders and 98 percent of rail riders have one or more cars in their households.

The second survey, Public Perceptions of Transit, questions both Metro riders and non-Metro riders to measure what area residents think about mass transit. The 2007 telephone survey included 1,201 individuals who live in areas served by Metro. Their responses indicate that Metro is competitive with the automobile as a travel mode of choice.

Of note, 56 percent of respondents perceived Metrorail as “an excellent way to travel in the Washington, D.C., area,” compared to private automobiles (42 percent) and Metrobus (30 percent). Half of the respondents rated Metrorail as a “good value for the money,” while 41 percent rated Metrobus a good value and 33 percent rated private vehicles a good value.

The results of this year’s study are largely consistent with the last survey, which was done in 2005. One area that showed a decline was the perception of safety. Though the overall perception of safety declined, Metrorail ranked safest of the three travel modes—13 percent rated private autos as “safe from accidents,” 15 percent regarded Metrobus as safe and 52 percent rated Metrorail safe. When asked if the travel mode was “safe from crime,” 33 percent scored Metrorail as safe from crime, compared with Metrobus (16 percent) and automobiles (20 percent).

“We’re pleased that both Metro riders and non-Metro riders see Metro as a valuable service in the Washington metropolitan area. We are committed to providing our customers with safe, reliable and clean service, and we’re confident that as our service improves, our customers’ satisfaction will also improve,” said Metro General Manager John Catoe.

News release issued at 12:00 am, September 12, 2007.

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