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5 CHAPTER TWO TRANSIT AGENCY USE OF ON-BOARD AND INTERCEPT METHODOLOGIES Transit agencies use on-board and intercept surveys to Transit agencies are particularly reliant on on-board and collect a wide variety of information. On-board and intercept intercept surveys to collect detailed trip origin and destina- survey topics include customer travel patterns, travel tion (O&D) data. In the agency survey, 73% reported using behavior, demographic characteristics, customer satisfaction on-board surveys for O&D purposes. Intercept, telephone, and other attitudes, reasons for using transit, ways to attract web-based, and mail surveys were used far less frequently increased ridership, and the effectiveness and usage of (Table 2). agency communications. The frequency of conducting on-board and intercept sur- This chapter reports on how frequently on-board and veys varies widely across different transit agencies. All intercept surveys are used at transit agencies and considera- large agencies surveyed conduct on-board and intercept tions in choosing between on-board and intercept surveys surveys at least once each year and a majority conduct at and other methodologies such as telephone, web, and mail least five on-board and intercept surveys annually. These surveys. surveys are often relatively small line-specific surveys fielded by in-house staff; results are used for planning and FREQUENCY OF USE OF ON-BOARD/INTERCEPT related studies. AND OTHER SURVEY METHODOLOGIES Two-thirds of the medium-size agencies conduct on- On-board and intercept surveys are a mainstay of transit agency board and intercept surveys at least once a year, as do market research programs. In the survey of transit agencies approximately one-third of smaller agencies. Medium and conducted for this study, 96% reported having conducted smaller agencies that conduct on-board and intercept surveys an on-board survey(s) between 2002 and 2004. This figure less than once a year typically conduct surveys every 2 to includes 60% of the agencies that conducted both on-board and 4 years (see Table 3). intercept surveys in the past 3 years (Table 2). O&D surveys are critical for areawide and route planning Although on-board and intercept surveys are a mainstay and thus are often conducted on a regular basis. Forty-three of transit agency market research programs, they are by no percent of responding agencies conducted an O&D survey means the sole survey methodology used. Of agencies (including all methods) in just the previous 2 years; 73% had surveyed, 71% have conducted telephone surveys, 44% web- conducted an O&D survey in the past 7 years. Among those based surveys, and 38% mail surveys between 2002 and agencies reporting dates for the two previous O&D surveys, 2004 (Table 2). most conducted such surveys at 1- to 5-year intervals. TABLE 2 SURVEY METHODOLOGIES USED BY TRANSIT AGENCIES Percentage Using Percentage Using Percentage of Survey Method for Survey Method for Agencies Using Customer Origin and Survey Method in Satisfaction Surveys Destination Surveys Methodology Past 3 Years* in Past 3 Years* at Any Time On-board surveys 96 88 73 Intercept surveys 60 44 21 Telephone surveys 71 56 13 Web-based surveys 44 25 6 Mail surveys 38 17 8 Other 12 8 6 No. responding 52 52 52 *Between 2002 and 2004.