Friday, November 12, 2010

Bus Plus Survey: The Good News

Community Transit has a robust list of bus riders and others who subscribe to our electronic alerts system. A week ago Wednesday we sent an email to 5,000 bus route subscribers asking them to take a survey on our schedule and route information. Many thanks to the more than 1,000 people who took the survey. I will try to respond to some of the comments and questions about bus information in a series of posts here.

The comments about route connections and schedule timing will go to our Planning Department, though anyone who asked for additional service might do well to read about our budget challenges. For those concerned about crowded buses, please read my blog post – and contact if it’s a recurring problem. We are looking forward to putting our Double Tall buses into service next year, since they have more seats than articulated buses, thus increasing passenger capacity without increasing operating costs.

This post is going to focus on the good news – things people asked for that we already provide in some way.

List all bus stops: Community Transit buses serve about 1,800 stops in Snohomish and King counties. We list every bus stop by route on our website, and it’s among our most popular pages. We show all the stops in order in one direction, then the other. There’s a link to this page from each individual route schedule on the website as well. From the stop list you can pull up the actual schedule poster that is posted at that stop (provided it is a Community Transit stop vs. King County or Everett). That is a very cool feature if you use the same stop every day and want to know the estimated departures of all the buses that stop there.

When we upgraded our Bus Plus maps a few years ago we considered whether we could show every bus stop on the route maps. We realized that the maps just weren’t detailed enough, and the stops too many, to show effectively. We do have detail maps in Bus Plus (and on the web) of downtown Seattle, University of Washington and the Everett Boeing plant where we show all stops.

Individual Schedules: Rather than print these ourselves, we make a PDF of every route schedule and map available on our website. Just go to the "Schedules" page and sort by route, or go to an individual route’s schedule page. Printing individual schedules for our buses or outlets would require an entirely new display and distribution system for Community Transit. Our buses operate on a variety of routes each day, so it would be hard to have the right schedule on the right bus. Plus, we know that many people use multiple routes and appreciate having our comprehensive book.

A final note: We are very aware that we conducted this survey primarily online, though we did also get more than 130 paper surveys completed in-person by local bus riders this past week. We are NOT considering the end of printing Bus Plus – even our online audience uses Bus Plus at least as often as our website. Both sources are important to different customers, at different times and for different types of information.

No comments:

Post a Comment