When Indianapolis’ public bus system, IndyGo, wanted to learn more about its passengers, Lochmueller Group (Lochgroup) led a project team that drafted, administered, and analyzed an onboard rider survey.
Lochgroup trained and supervised 50 surveyors to conduct the on-board surveys. The project team also suggested that IndyGo provide a free one-day pass as an incentive for each respondent that filled out a survey completely. This resulted in nearly 4,500 completed surveys being collected over a 2-week period, cutting in half the time projected for fieldwork.
Data was then collected and compiled in a final report and this information is helping IndyGo improve its operations by better understanding the needs of its riders. The data will help IndyGo judge whether current routes are best serving its ridership or whether changes are needed. The data was also incorporated into the local MPO’s travel demand model. It will also support advanced activity-based or hybrid modeling to incorporate transportation land use interactions, fuel price effects, and other factors. The report found that Indianapolis transit riders engage in more activities and trip-chaining behavior than was previously assumed.
Results of this study were published in Transportation Research Record 2217 (Income Effects & Other New Findings on the Complexity of Transit Tours).