Rate Your Ride Preliminary Report

by MTA Rate Your Ride on October 12, 2012

The Rate Your Ride Winter 2012 Preliminary Report is finally here! 

The report briefly discusses the RYR methodology and summarizes data that we received, thanks to you (our MTA customers) between January 9th and June 16th, 2012.

In six months, the RYR program received 2705 ratings from 942 different people.  The highest number of ratings received in one day was 88 ratings on March 2nd, 2012.  Light Rail received 273 ratings from MTA’s customers (more ratings than any other transit line).  However, most (76%) of the ratings came from customers riding one of the MTA’s bus lines.  The majority of RYR raters use the MTA’s services to travel to and from work (62%).  MTA customers rated MARC as the mode with the highest average satisfaction score, and Paratransit had the lowest score, primarily due to complaints about late vehicles and rude or unhelpful staff.  The two most reported issues causing customer dissatisfaction were late and crowded vehicles.

Key findings included a concerning number of complaints about rude and unhelpful staff, including complaints about feeling ignored (31), the staff’s negative tone of voice (30), aggressive staff (28), or insulting staff (16).  On the other hand, we received a total of 1049 positive ratings with the highest number of ratings (566) stating that the vehicle was on time and (177) ratings stating that riders had a quiet and comfortable ride.  Another finding that stood out was that the majority of complaints about unclean or uncomfortable vehicles were received from Light Rail customers (24) during peak time hours (7am-9am, 4pm-6pm).  Also, when analyzing the MTA’s ridership data there is a noticeable lack of RYR raters using Metro and MARC.

Taking a look at the Baltimore City Public school data, the most frequently rated lines were bus #15 (25) and #44 (24).  Late vehicle was also the most reported issue for 100 Baltimore City Public School students.  The majority (11 ratings) of the reported late vehicles came from bus line #44. In addition, the bulk of complaints about crowded vehicles came from bus line #10 and #15.  In contrast, students’ top reasons for satisfaction (58 ratings) were vehicle was on time and quiet and comfortable ride (34 ratings).

The purpose of Rate Your Ride is to collect customer feedback and to use the data to make service improvements.  Therefore, we analyze the RYR data and select bus lines or other MTA modes that received the worst ratings.  However, instead of solely using RYR as a single indicator for bus line performance, a system called BESTRIDE (Bus Examination of Service: Tracking and Ranking including Diversified Evaluators) is used to collect data from various sources and to combine all of them into one place.  The collected data includes customer feedback (service complaints from both RYR and traditional means), ridership data, and other internal performance data.  Using BESTRIDE the two most troubled bus lines were selected, which were bus lines 35 and 11.  Increased street monitoring, investigation of the major problems of the two lines, and schedule changes to the lines will be put in place to improve the quality of service on these two lines and to make long-term improvements.

 Recap of Key Findings

  • Most ratings came from riders who had chosen the bus as their mode of transportation (76%)
  • Bus lines with the most ratings: #35 (185), #10 (179), and #11(155)
  • Best rated bus lines: #54 (M=4.3), and #56 (M=4.2) (using a 6.0 rating scale, 1= very unsatisfied, 6=very satisfied)
  • Worst rated bus lines: #21 (M=1.1) and #9 (M=2.1)
  • Overall, Paratransit was the mode with the lowest average satisfaction score (M=1.5) due largely to late vehicle (11) and rude or unhelpful staff (8)
  • A large amount (50) of raters reported that bus line #10 was too crowed.
  • A concerning number of rude or unhelpful staff were reported. Customers mainly complained about feeling ignored (31), the driver’s tone of voice (30), or that the driver was aggressive (28) and insulting (16)
  • Compared to the MTA’s ridership data there is a noticeable lack of RYR raters using Metro and MARC
  • Customers are most satisfied (M=5.4) with their ride when they encounter helpful or friendly staff
  • Low satisfaction scores were reported by customers who experienced a vehicle passing their stop. The majority of these ratings reported that the stop was skipped while getting on (47). When asked with the follow-up question, most reported that the given reason why this occurred was due to being ignored at the bus stop (total of 29, 6 received from bus line #35)
  • Unclean or uncomfortable rides were reported by 86 raters.  The greatest share of reports of this issue (24) came from riders on Light Rail during peak time hours (8am, 4pm-6pm)
  • Safety concerns were reported by 43 different raters from various modes and routes; their concerns included that the vehicle needed maintenance (16) and that the driver was speeding (12)

Next Steps 

The most important part of the Rate your Ride program is to make sure the data actually gets used. Prior to this report the data helped to improve service on several bus lines.  The MTA made some initial improvements to decrease “pass ups” (a.k.a. skipped stops).  Additionally, the MTA adjusted the service on the #19 and #35 in July 2011, as well as the schedule for the bus line #77 to match the real travel times of the line.  These adjustments should result in improved reliability.

The next report, Winter 2012 Final Report & Action Plan, will be completed within the next two months. It will include a specific action plan considering the two problematic bus lines #35 and #11 as well as other plans to address key findings from this analysis.  In addition, we will give an estimate of the costs and specific changes that will take place.

To read the entire report click here:



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