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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Poll: L.A. MTA making headway in rail, bus performance


Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority July 25 released results of the largest customer satisfaction survey taken in its history — and has reason to crow about the results.

Between June and December last year, 35,000 Metro Bus and 15,000 Metro Rail riders, plus 7,000 people who rode municipality-operated buses, were polled on board buses and trains.

Of those polled, 96 percent of Metro Rail riders ranked service on the Red, Blue and Green lines as fair or better; 78 percent said service is "good or very good". Other categories that received good or very good marks included safety (82 percent), travel time (76 percent), cleanliness (70 percent), cost of fare (67 percent) and seat/space availability (61 percent).

However, the survey also revealed that there’s room for improvement: 76 percent rated the ability to hear the train operator announce stops on the public address system as "fair or better". Only 49.5 percent said it was good or very good.

Historically, MTA’s bus service has left a good deal to be desired and the authority was put under a mandate to improve it. The survey showed that, although there’s still wiggle room, most riders (88 percent) rated bus service as fair or better; 56 percent said it was good or very good.

Although most other categories ranged from 54 percent to 67 percent good or very good, operator knowledge of routes scored a good or very good with 81 percent of the respondents.

Officials also learned in the survey that bus and rail passengers are predominantly low-income and minority people, with Latinos making up the largest ethnic group.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/29/2002