RATE YOUR RIDE – an initiative to improve public transportation

Starting January 9th 2012 the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) began managing the popular “Rate Your Ride” program, which allows public transit riders to give instant feedback on the quality of their ride.

The program was created by the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance (Transportation Alliance) with funding from Open Society Institute – Baltimore, the Ford Foundation, and the Clayton Fund.  The program launched in September 2010 and generated more than 6,500 responses through October 2011. The successful pilot resulted in service improvements on 3 bus routes and also provided lessons about how to best use this type of data.

Rate Your Ride enables riders of public transportation to provide real-time feedback via text messaging on the quality of the their rides on any part of MTA’s system.   Customers submitting their feedback through Rate Your Ride will have their data aggregated with other riders, and the MTA looks for trends or patterns. However, customers will not receive individualized responses to every submission. The data submitted through Rate Your Ride is also incorporated into MTA’s current set of performance metrics to help make better decisions about prioritizing service adjustments and identifying frequently occurring issues (both good and bad).  Rate Your Ride does not replace the MTA’s Transit Information Services complaint and comment line, accessible by calling 410-333-2354.

An agreement reached between the Transportation Alliance and the MTA provides for continued oversight of the program by stakeholders including the Transportation Alliance, the Open Society Institute, and others.

To view a report by the Transportation Alliance on the results and lessons learned from piloting Rate Your Ride click here.