Give Your Transit Riders a Voice with TransLoc’s Rider Survey

Erin ThompsonBlog

Blackberry was unveiled in 1999. Millions of dollars went into developing and advertising this popular device, and we saw them in the hands of many savvy consumers for over a decade. 

So, why in the world aren’t we seeing them today?

And why are we talking about them in a transit blog? Transit is wildly different from smartphones with physical keyboards.

It’s because Blackberry’s failure to pivot is a cautionary tale about developing and maintaining a product or service without listening to your customers.

As the technology boom hit its stride in the 2000s, Blackberry’s inability to capture — and act on — key customer insights led to them sinking time, effort, and funds into an outdated product that no longer met the needs of its customers.

The story of your new or existing transit service could experience a similar outcome without proper engagement with your ridership.

Input From Your Transit Riders is Critical

Even the smallest of service changes can have a big impact on the community who relies on your agency for its mobility needs. You can earn trust from your ridership by making them a part of the service/product development process.

Collecting input from hundreds, thousands, or millions of riders is a formidable one as we’ve discussed before. Developing a strong community engagement plan requires time and in-depth analysis. You will need to:

  • Collaborate with stakeholders on establishing the purpose and intended outcomes of engaging with your community
  • Evaluate a variety of engagement tactics (e.g., social media outreach or community events) 
  • Use language that is accessible to all riders
  • Explore options on how to store and analyze the data you collect, 
  • Identify the best way to report your data back to key stakeholders in a way that is clear, concise, and educational

You care about your riders’ opinions, but seeking out, sorting, answering, and implementing their feedback can feel like a second (or third) job — and you barely have enough time to complete your first job!

Here’s how we can help.

TransLoc’s Rider Surveys Allow You to Listen to Your Transit Riders

Transit agencies have told us that they need marketing services support, allowing them to focus on the operational work that keeps the wheels on the road.

Our rider surveys powered by PublicInput simplify the community engagement process. Our marketing experts work with you to develop and deploy a unique, on-brand rider survey that can collect vital feedback on your services from the riders who use them every day. We offer expert guidance and analysis during all phases of survey deployment to ensure you’re reaching the right audience, driving participation, and interpreting the data that matters most.

After piloting a one-year on-demand pilot program that saw an average of 3,300 rides per month, The Bay Area Transit Authority (BATA) used TransLoc’s rider survey to solicit feedback from riders on their on-demand experience. A whopping 47% of riders shared their thoughts over four weeks! Their input helped BATA identify peak ridership times and opportunities for service zone expansion. And because of our easy-to-use survey template, BATA spent less time struggling with design choices and more time on refining their service strategy.

Remember, community engagement can happen at any time, for any reason. Right now is always the right time to reach out to your riders to determine their mobility needs, and together, build an efficient transit system that won’t be synonymous with Blackberry.

Start talking to your riders today. They’re ready to be heard!

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