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6 ways TransLoc Traveler's Survey Feature is changing public transit

In October, TransLoc made it possible for transit agencies to effectively and painlessly get feedback from their riders with a unique in-app survey feature. Unlike anything available in transit, it’s truly a survey like no other—and we’re just getting started. You may be asking, What makes this survey so special? Let’s take a look.

Six ways TransLoc Traveler’s survey feature is different:

  1. In context
    Unlike most digital surveys, TransLoc-enabled surveys only appear to riders when they’re already in the context of transit—that is, with the Rider app open to check on their bus or train. Riders can respond at just the right time: when they’re already thinking about their transit experience.
  1. Shockingly painless
    transloc-traveler-survey-question_iphone5s-goldWho loves filling out surveys? No one. They’re almost always long and cumbersome. Our surveys, however, are as easy as can be, requiring only one tap. When a rider has the app open, a one-question survey appears. One tap to answer, or one tap to dismiss. The survey doesn’t prevent your riders from continuing with their app experience, so if they want to respond, but not at the moment the survey appears, they can ignore it and wait for it to re-appear next time without taking any action at all. Also, the surveys never become a permanent part of the Rider user experience: they automatically expire if they aren’t answered or dismissed in a reasonable time frame.Enabling these surveys is easy for the agency too. We’ve already provided ten standard questions, designed by the experts at CJI Research. You can simply “switch on” surveys with one click, delivering questions to your riders at the beginning of the next month. You can choose which questions to ask, or leave it up to us—we’ll calculate how many questions your Rider user base can support each month without sacrificing data quality, and rotate through the questions from month to month for you. Get insight into your passengers’ experience and improve your system through passenger feedback.
  1. Continuous and responsive
    We know on-board transit surveys are a valuable source of information, but they’re time-consuming and expensive, so they’re only conducted every few years. TransLoc-enabled surveys are sent to riders every month (one question per rider per month), so you can quickly and continuously keep in touch with rider satisfaction over time. Wondering if the changes you made to your system are making the rider experience better or worse? You only have to wait a month to find out.
  1. Rigorous yet inexpensive
    Data can’t be cheap, easy, and high quality, right? It can! As a professional statistician, I care as much about data quality as anyone. We’ve made sure you can rely on the data from TransLoc-enabled surveys by worrying about sample size for you:
  • We know how many responses are needed to get an answer with a 5 percentage point or better margin of error, and we also know how many Rider users your agency has.
  • We let you know the maximum number of survey questions you can ask each month so you can get as much information as possible without sacrificing data quality. You can choose the questions you want to ask, and we’ll warn you if you go over this recommended number of questions. Or, if you leave it up to us to enable questions automatically, we’ll hit the target for you.
  • At the end of the month when you look at your survey results, you’ll also see the response rate and total number of responses for each question, so you can have confidence in your data.
  1. Consistent nationwide
    Despite all the effort and care that is put into on-board transit surveys, they are not standardized from agency to agency. This makes it hard to understand how you’re doing with respect to your peers. Ever wonder, “67% of my riders are satisfied with our on-time performance . . . so is that good?”? Since both the questions and the methodology are standardized in TransLoc-enabled surveys, we’re laying the groundwork for you to be able to answer this question in the future.
  1. Customized automatically
    transloc-traveler-survey-intro_iphone5s-goldSo, why should riders care about a survey that comes from TransLoc? Well, the surveys we send don’t come from TransLoc—they come from you! The survey questions you enable are sent only to riders who use your system, and it’s clear to those riders that they come from you. When the survey appears in the app, it’s introduced with your agency name and logo, which then fades to present the question. Riders know they’re providing this feedback directly to you, the agency that provides their service and the people with the power to make changes that keep making transit better.

TransLoc Rider is used by more than 700,000 transit riders nationwide, with more app downloads every day. With our nationwide reach and large user base, the survey feature in Traveler is truly an effective benchmarking tool. You may be asking, What is the potential it has to get even better in the future? Stay tuned. That question will be answered in a companion post next week!