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MBTA improves rider satisfaction on commuter rail

Thirty-two percent of respondents in a recent survey said they were satisfied with the MBTA's commuter-rail service.
Photo – MBTA

The number of riders who said they were satisfied with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) commuter-rail service has nearly doubled over the past two years, according to a recent survey.

Of the riders who participated in the survey, 32 percent said they're satisfied with the MBTA's commuter-rail service. That marks an increase from another survey conducted in spring 2015, when just 18 percent of passengers said they were satisfied with the agency's commuter rail.

Research firm SocialSphere conducted the surveys between April 22 and 28. The company surveyed 5,780 respondents who matched overall commuter-rail ridership by line, according to a press release issued by Keolis Commuter Services, which operates MBTA's commuter-rail network.

Keolis has been surveying passengers twice a year since 2015.

In the most recent survey, 60 percent of riders said they were "neutral" about their level of satisfaction, while 8 percent said they weren't satisfied. Although the number of satisfied passengers has increased over the last two years, it dropped from 34 percent in the fall 2016 survey.

In the spring 2016 survey, 35 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the MBTA's commuter rail.

Passengers said that improved on-time performance, onboard communications and cleanliness of station restrooms would increase their satisfaction. Keolis aims to address those concerns with targeted action plans, company officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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