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TRANSIT TCRP SYNTHESIS 63 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration On-Board and Intercept Transit Survey Techniques A Synthesis of Transit Practice

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TCRP OVERSIGHT AND PROJECT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2005 (Membership as of October 2005) SELECTION COMMITTEE (as of September 2005) OFFICERS CHAIR Chair: John R. Njord, Executive Director, Utah DOT DAVID A. LEE Vice Chair: Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Connecticut Transit Georgia Institute of Technology Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS ANN AUGUST Santee Wateree Regional Transportation MEMBERS Authority MICHAEL W. BEHRENS, Executive Director, Texas DOT LINDA J. BOHLINGER ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT HNTB Corp. ROBERT I. BROWNSTEIN LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT PB Consult, Inc. DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Vice President, Customer Service, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Subsidiaries, PETER CANNITO Atlanta, GA Metropolitan Transportation Authority--Metro ANNE P. CANBY, President, Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, DC North Railroad JOHN L. CRAIG, Director, Nebraska Department of Roads GREGORY COOK DOUGLAS G. DUNCAN, President and CEO, FedEx Freight, Memphis, TN Ann Arbor Transportation Authority NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville JENNIFER L. DORN ANGELA GITTENS, Vice President, Airport Business Services, HNTB Corporation, Miami, FL FTA NATHANIEL P. FORD GENEVIEVE GIULIANO, Director, Metrans Transportation Center, and Professor, School of Policy, Metropolitan Atlanta RTA Planning, and Development, USC, Los Angeles RONALD L. FREELAND BERNARD S. GROSECLOSE, JR., President and CEO, South Carolina State Ports Authority Parsons Transportation Group SUSAN HANSON, Landry University Professor of Geography, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University FRED M. GILLIAM JAMES R. HERTWIG, President, CSX Intermodal, Jacksonville, FL Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority GLORIA JEAN JEFF, Director, Michigan DOT KIM R. GREEN ADIB K. KANAFANI, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley GFI GENFARE JILL A. HOUGH HERBERT S. LEVINSON, Principal, Herbert S. Levinson Transportation Consultant, New Haven, CT North Dakota State University SUE MCNEIL, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware, JOHN INGLISH Newark Utah Transit Authority MICHAEL R. MORRIS, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments JEANNE W. KRIEG CAROL A. MURRAY, Commissioner, New Hampshire DOT Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority MICHAEL S. TOWNES, President and CEO, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA CELIA G. KUPERSMITH C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin Golden Gate Bridge, Highway LINDA S. WATSON, Executive Director, LYNX--Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority and Transportation District PAUL J. LARROUSSE National Transit Institute EX OFFICIO MEMBERS CLARENCE W. MARSELLA MARION C. BLAKEY, Federal Aviation Administrator, U.S.DOT Denver Regional Transportation District JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT FAYE L. M. MOORE Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA Authority GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, Chancellor, Polytechnic University, and Foreign Secretary, National Academy MICHAEL H. MULHERN of Engineering Jacobs Civil Inc. J. RICHARD CAPKA, Acting Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT STEPHANIE L. PINSON THOMAS H. COLLINS (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard Gilbert Tweed Associates, Inc. JENNIFER L. DORN, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT ROBERT H. PRINCE, JR. JAMES J. EBERHARDT, Chief Scientist, Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies, DMJM+Harris JEFFREY M. ROSENBERG U.S. Department of Energy Amalgamated Transit Union JACQUELINE GLASSMAN, Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT MICHAEL SCANLON EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads San Mateo County Transit District JOHN C. HORSLEY, Exec. Dir., American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials BEVERLY A. SCOTT JOHN E. JAMIAN, Acting Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT Sacramento Regional Transit District EDWARD JOHNSON, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration KATHRYN D. WATERS ASHOK G. KAVEESHWAR, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT Dallas Area Rapid Transit BRIGHAM MCCOWN, Deputy Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S.DOT FRANK WILSON Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association County SUZANNE RUDZINSKI, Director, Transportation and Regional Programs, U.S.EPA ANNETTE M. SANDBERG, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT EX OFFICIO MEMBERS JEFFREY N. SHANE, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT WILLIAM W. MILLAR CARL A. STROCK (Maj. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps APTA of Engineers ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR. TRB JOHN C. HORSLEY TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM AASHTO Transportation Research Board Executive Committee Subcommittee for TCRP J. RICHARD CAPKA FHWA JOHN R. NJORD, Utah DOT (Chair) JENNIFER L. DORN, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT TDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MICHAEL D. MEYER, Georgia Institute of Technology LOUIS SANDERS WILLIAM W. MILLAR, American Public Transportation Association APTA ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR., Transportation Research Board SECRETARY MICHAEL S. TOWNES, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA ROBERT J. REILLY C. MICHAEL WALTON, University of Texas, Austin TRB LINDA S. WATSON, LYNX--Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 63 On-Board and Intercept Transit Survey Techniques A Synthesis of Transit Practice BRUCE SCHALLER Schaller Consulting Brooklyn, New York S UBJECT A REAS Public Transit Research Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in Cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2005 www.TRB.org

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 63 The nation's growth and the need to meet mobility, environ- Project J-7, Topic SH-05 mental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit ISSN 1073-4880 systems. Current systems, some of which are old and in need of ISBN 0-309-09759-2 upgrading, must expand service area, increase service frequency, Library of Congress Control Number 2005933206 and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is nec- essary to solve operating problems, to adapt appropriate new Transportation Research Board technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Cooperative Research Pro- Price $19.00 gram (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to NOTICE meet demands placed on it. The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Report 213--Research for Public Transit: New Directions, pub- Cooperative Research Program conducted by the Transportation Re- lished in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Federal search Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the Na- Transit Administration (FTA). A report by the American Public tional Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also Board's judgment that the project concerned is appropriate with re- recognized the need for local, problem-solving research. TCRP, spect to both the purposes and resources of the National Research modeled after the longstanding and successful National Coopera- Council. tive Highway Research Program, undertakes research and other The members of the technical advisory panel selected to monitor technical activities in response to the needs of transit service provid- this project and to review this report were chosen for recognized ers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, fa- disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions cilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and ad- expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed ministrative practices. the research, and while they have been accepted as appropriate by TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. the technical panel, they are not necessarily those of the Transporta- Proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was tion Research Board, the Transit Development Corporation, the Na- authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Effi- tional Research Council, or the Federal Transit Administration of the ciency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum U.S. Department of Transportation. agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the tech- the three cooperating organizations: FTA, the National Academy of nical panel according to procedures established and monitored by Sciences, acting through the Transportation Research Board the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a Governing Board of the National Research Council. nonprofit educational and research organization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the independent govern- ing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selec- tion (TOPS) Committee. Special Notice Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodi- cally but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is The Transportation Research Board of The National Academies, the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the re- the Transit Development Corporation, the National Research Coun- search program by identifying the highest priority projects. As cil, and the Federal Transit Administration (sponsor of the Transit part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines funding Cooperative Research Program) do not endorse products or manu- levels and expected products. facturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely be- Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, ap- cause they are considered essential to the clarity and complete- pointed by TRB. The panels prepare project statements (requests ness of the project reporting. for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative re- Published reports of the search programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products are available from: fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on disseminating TCRP results to the intended end users of the re- Transportation Research Board search: transit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB Business Office provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, 500 Fifth Street, NW and other supporting material developed by TCRP research. Washington, DC 20001 APTA will arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry practitioners. and can be ordered through the Internet at The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can coop- eratively address common operational problems. The TCRP results http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore support and complement other ongoing transit research and train- ing programs. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, The National as a parallel Academy organization of Sciences of outstanding is a private, nonprofit,engineers. It is autonomous self-perpetuating society of in its administration distinguished schol- andengaged ars in the selection of its in scientific members, and sharing engineering with the research, National dedicated Academy to of Sciences the furtherance the responsibility of science for and technology advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in programs aimed the 1863, at meeting Academy national needs, encourages has a mandate education that requires andthe it to advise research, federal and recognizes government on the superior scientific andachieve- techni- ments cal of engineers. matters. Dr. Dr. Ralph J.William CiceroneA.isWulf is president president of the National of the National AcademyAcademy of Engineering. of Sciences. The National The Institute Academy of Medicine was established of Engineering wasin 1970 by the established National in 1964, Academy under of Sciences the charter to secure of the National the Acad- services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration to andthe in health of the public. the selection The Institute of its members, acts sharing under with thethe responsibility National Academy given to the National of Sciences Academyfor the responsibility of Sciences by federal advising the its congressional government.charter to be an Academy The National adviser toof the federal government Engineering and,engineering also sponsors on its own initiative, programs to identify aimed issues national at meeting of medical care, needs, research, education encourages and education. Dr. Harvey and research, V. Fineberg and recognizes issuperior the president of the achieve- Institute of Medicine. ments of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The National The Institute Research of Medicine Council was organized was established by the in 1970 byNational Academy the National of Sciences Academy in 1916 of Sciences toto associate secure the the broadof services community of science eminent members ofand technology appropriate with the Academy's professions purposes of in the examination of furthering policy mattersknowledge and pertaining advising to the federal the health of the government. Functioning public. The Institute acts in accordance under with general the responsibility policies given determined to the National by the Acad- Academy of emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, of Sciences and the National to identify issues Academy of medical of care, Engineering research, inand providing services education. to the government, Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg the public, and is president the of the scientific Institute ofand engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and Medicine. the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. William A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, The National respectively, Research of Council the National was organized Research Council. by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and The Transportation advising Research Board the federal government. is a division Functioning of the National in accordance Research with general Council, policies determinedwhich by serves the the Acad- National emy, the Academy Council hasof Sciences become and the the National principal Academy operating of Engineering. agency of both theThe Board'sAcademy National mission isof toSciences promote innovation and progress and the National Academy in transportation of Engineering through research. in providing In an to services objective and interdisciplinary the government, the public, and setting, the the Board facilitates the sharing of information on transportation practice and policy scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and by researchers and practitioners; the Institute of stimulates Medicine. research Dr. RalphandJ.offers Ciceroneresearch and Dr. management William A.services Wulf are that promote chair and vice technical chair, excellence; respectively, provides expertResearch of the National advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research Council. results broadly and encourages their implementation. The Board's varied activities annually engage more The Transportation than 5,000 engineers, Research scientists, Board is a and other division of the transportation National and researchers Research Council, practitioners fromwhich serves and the public the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Board's mission private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is is to promote innovation supported by and progress state in transportation transportation through departments, research. federal agencies Inincluding an objective and interdisciplinary the component administrationssetting, of the the Board facilitates the U.S. Department ofsharing of information Transportation, and on transportation other organizationspractice and and policy by individuals researchers interested in and the practitioners; development of stimulates research transportation. and offers research management services that promote technical www.TRB.org excellence; provides expert advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research results broadly and encourages their implementation. The Board's varied activities annually engage more www.national-academies.org than 5,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org

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TCRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT J-7 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM STAFF ROBERT J. REILLY, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CHAIR CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS, Manager, TCRP FRANK T. MARTIN EILEEN P. DELANEY, Director of Publications PBS&J, Tallahassee, FL TCRP SYNTHESIS STAFF MEMBERS STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies DEBRA W. ALEXANDER and Information Services Capital Area Transportation Authority, Lansing, MI JON WILLIAMS, Manager, Synthesis Studies DWIGHT FERRELL DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer The Ferrell Group, Richardson, TX DON TIPPMAN, Editor MARK W. FURHMANN CHERYL KEITH, Senior Secretary Metro Transit, Minneapolis, MN ROBERT H. IRWIN TOPIC PANEL British Columbia Transit, Victoria, BC, Canada KIMBERLY FISHER, Transportation Research Board PAUL J. LARROUSSE DAVID A. LEE, Connecticut Transit National Transit Institute, New Brunswick, NJ SUSAN E. LEE, Federal Highway Administration WADE LAWSON MARK McCOURT, Strategic Consulting & Research South Jersey Transportation Authority, Atlantic City, NJ DONNA MURRAY, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit DAVID A. LEE Authority Connecticut Transit, Hartford, CT CATHY PLOTKE, Chicago Transit Authority DAVID PHELPS STEVEN E. POLZIN, University of South Florida Center for Consultant, Moneta, VA Urban Transportation Research HAYWARD M. SEYMORE, III VIRGINIA SHANK, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District Laidlaw Transit Services, Inc., University Place, WA STEVEN SILKUNAS, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation PAM WARD Authority Ottumwa Transit Authority, Ottumwa, IA NANCY ODY, Federal Transit Administration (Liaison) JOEL R. WASHINGTON Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC FTA LIAISON KAREN FACEN Federal Highway Administration TRB LIAISON PETER SHAW Transportation Research Board

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FOREWORD Transit administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which in- By Staff formation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and Transportation practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a conse- Research Board quence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solv- ing or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to the transit industry. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such use- ful information and to make it available to the entire transit community, the Transit Co- operative Research Program Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee author- ized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, TCRP Project J-7, "Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Problems," searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute a TCRP re- port series, Synthesis of Transit Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each re- port in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those meas- ures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. PREFACE This synthesis documents and summarizes transit agencies' experiences with planning and implementing on-board and intercept surveys. On-board/intercept surveys used throughout the report refer to self-administered surveys distributed on board buses and rail- cars, and in stations, as well as interviews conducted in these environments. The report pro- vides an overview of industry practices and covers a broad range of issues addressed in planning a given survey. This topic is of interest to transit agency staff responsible for mar- ket research in their agency. They can use this report to learn from and compare their expe- riences with the experiences of other agencies. The findings in this report are based on a literature review, a survey of transit agencies from across the United States, analysis of documentation submitted by transit agencies, and interviews with transit agency staff and other professionals involved in on-board and inter- cept transit surveys. Fifty-two transit agencies from throughout the United States provided information for this report. Bruce Schaller, Schaller Consulting, collected and synthesized the information and wrote the report, under guidance of a panel of experts in the subject area. The members of the topic panel are acknowledged on the preceding page. This synthesis is an imme- diately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limi- tations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.

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CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 3 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background, 3 Methodology, 3 Organization of Report, 4 5 CHAPTER TWO TRANSIT AGENCY USE OF ON-BOARD AND INTERCEPT METHODOLOGIES Frequency of Use of On-Board/Intercept and Other Survey Methodologies, 5 Using On-Board/Intercept Instead of a Different Survey Method, 6 Time Requirements, 8 9 CHAPTER THREE PLANNING ON-BOARD AND INTERCEPT SURVEYS Project Goals, 9 Where and How to Conduct Surveys, 10 Identifying Study Population and Drawing the Sample, 13 Minimizing Sampling and Nonresponse Error in Survey, 16 18 CHAPTER FOUR DEVELOPING QUESTIONNAIRES Questionnaire Introductions, 18 Topics and Question Wording, 18 Questionnaire Design and Layout, 32 Pretesting Questionnaire, 39 40 CHAPTER FIVE SURVEY FIELDWORK AND DATA PROCESSING Identification and Recruitment of Survey Staff, 40 Survey Staff Training, 41 Supervision, 41 Safety, 42 Data Cleaning and Data Processing, 42 44 CHAPTER SIX RESPONSE RATES Measuring Response Rates, 44 Response Rates Reported by Transit Agencies, 44 Factors Affecting Response Rates, 52 55 CHAPTER SEVEN COSTS 60 CHAPTER EIGHT CONCLUSIONS AND FURTHER RESEARCH 62 REFERENCES

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63 GLOSSARY 64 APPENDIX A SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE 73 APPENDIX B SURVEY RESPONDENTS 75 APPENDIX C SAMPLE ORIGIN AND DESTINATION SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRES 88 APPENDIX D SAMPLE OF OTHER TYPES OF QUESTIONNAIRES