Metro is conducting rider surveys in support of a new study examining late night bus service, generally defined as operating between 11pm and 4am, with a focus on Metrobus service generally inside the Beltway and during the time period after Metrorail closes (after midnight during the week and 3am on weekends). The study will examine the performance of existing late night Metrobus service, connections among bus routes and between late-night activity centers (see map below), and the potential for 24-hour bus service, and for branding late-night bus service. The study will also make recommendations for near-term service improvements. Riders of many of the most heavily used Metrobus routes may have noticed surveyors at major bus stops as in-person surveys were conducted from approximately 11pm to 4am over the past week. Read more…
Americans are driving less and owning fewer cars, which means we have to make different decisions about where to spend scarce transportation resources.
In a fascinating post in the Atlantic Cities, Eric Jaffe doesn’t waste words with assumptions but rather relies on actual data to inform us that America has already reached “peak driving” and that the future of transportation in America is no longer linked to ever-increasing vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
This should come as no surprise, given that VMT has missed forecasted estimates since the early 2000′s. Just check out this handy chart from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Conditions and Performance Report (PDF) to Congress.
Regional roadway planners are already beginning to embrace this thinking, as the chart from the State Smart Transportation Initiative illustrates in its analysis of MDOT’s transportation plans. These plans not only acknowledge declining VMT, but now omit traffic projections altogether. Read more…
The 2014 Metrobus Survey will commence on March 18, 2014. This survey will take place during Spring and Fall of 2014 covering every Metrobus route, in all jurisdictions. If you receive a survey, please fill it out on paper or online. If you have any questions, please ask the surveyor, or feel free to call the toll free number on the survey.
The primary purpose of the survey is to gather data to support operating and planning activities and for calculating jurisdictional subsidy allocations. The survey is also being conducted to meet Federal Transit Administration’s Title VI regulations. Metro reports ridership coming from each of the eight jurisdictions in the Metro service area, and the survey provides the most scientific approach to estimate ridership by jurisdiction.
Additionally, we are asking about employer-related transit benefits received by our riders. The 2014 survey differentiates between fully subsidized and partially subsidized riders, expanding our understanding of how our riders make decisions related to fares.
Our 2012 Metrorail Survey raised a lot of questions that we answered here on PlanItMetro. We’ve pasted those questions and answers here, as they should be helpful during this year’s Metrobus Survey, as well as some 2014 Metrobus Survey-specific questions.
The last full survey of Metrobus ridership was conducted in 2008.
Feel free to ask any additional questions that we’ve missed in the comments section below and we will try to respond as best we can.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: The survey started on March 18, but I haven’t received a form yet. When will you survey my bus route?
A: This survey uses statistical methods to capture a representative sample of our ridership. On a given day, survey forms are being given out on selected bus routes. To ensure that the survey remains statistically representative, we do not disclose the survey schedule to the public. Read more…
We are seeking feedback from riders and offering multiple ways to comment on the proposed FY2015 budget and fare changes, as well as Metro’s Capital Improvement Program. You can participate in any or all of the following:
- Survey: The survey includes questions about the fare changes, costs, and the benefits you will see going forward. The survey is open until 5 p.m. on February 11, 2014.
- Public Hearings: The six public hearings will provide an opportunity for riders to give formal testimony on the docket of proposed budget actions.
Looking to get into the weeds and talk about some long(er)-term opportunities? We have started a new discussion on MindMixer to gather your ideas and thoughts about priorities and potential future changes to the balance of funding between riders and local government, continuing to allow fares to be paid in cash on Metrobus, parking, new fare options, and priorities for a down payment on Metro2025 initiatives.
Every morning, thousands of people walk through the faregates and into Metrorail. Did you ever wonder how they get to their station? Our 2012 Metrorail Passenger Survey tells us the answer to this question, for the morning rush:
- More than a third (38%) of Metrorail riders get to the station in the morning by walking or biking.
- Another quarter arrive by bus – Metrobus, as well as other bus operators in the region.
- Another third arrive by car – most by parking at or near the station, but some by getting dropped off.
- Finally, about 4% of riders arrive via commuter rail – mostly at Union Station.
Of the 25,000 or so daily riders who access rail by “Other Bus,” the top three contributors are Fairfax Connector (6,700), Montgomery County’s RideOn (5,700), and private shuttles (4,900). Of those who parked at their station, one-third were driving from less three miles away. Carpooling to Metrorail is very low – we estimate average vehicle occupancy at 1.03 passengers per parked car.
The map below shows how the answer to “How Did They Get to the Station?” varies dramatically station to station. (For the sake of legibility on this map, I’ve simplified the access modes into 4 groups). Read more…
Walk access to Metrorail has increased 15% over the last 5 years, especially from those living within a half-mile of the station.
More and more Metrorail riders are lacing up their walking shoes and taking a short walk to their rail station these days. According to results from the 2012 Metrorail Passenger Survey, the number of passengers walking to Metrorail each morning grew by 15% between 2007 and 2012, from 78,500 to 89,900 in the AM peak period – far outpacing overall growth in ridership in the same period.
Where are all the new pedestrians coming from? From stations all over the network, but the growth is strongest among those walking a half-mile or less. Those walking from less than a half-mile rose by over 20% – faster than the overall growth in walk access.
Business leaders were asked a series of questions about Momentum to gauge the extent that they believe the strategic plan is focused in the right direction. Five different growth options were presented and respondents were asked their level of support for each of them. The options included:
- Running all eight-car trains;
- Installing bus-only lanes as well as other bypass measures;
- Improving stations via widening platforms, more escalators/elevators, pedestrian tunnels;
- Improving communications infrastructure at stations, bus stops, online & fare payment; and
- Relieving track and station congestion at Rosslyn with new infrastructure.
There was clear support for the eight-car trains, with three out of four business leaders choosing this as a priority. Improved communications was also supported by six out of ten surveyed. The rest of the improvements had support from approximately one half of the total respondents. Read more…
Momentum employed a multi-pronged outreach and feedback gathering strategy, including both conventional and modern tools. Metro staff gathered input to inform a draft plan and subsequently, gathered feedback on the plan prior to finalizing it. Metro staff heard from almost 12,000 stakeholders during the outreach process through the following tools. The input has informed Metro’s understanding of the public’s short- and long-term needs. Read more…
Metro is focused on solving one of the region’s most pressing mobility issues – increasing the capacity of the system to handle more trips through the core (defined below) of the Metrorail system. While Metro’s planning staff has been conducting technical analyses and searching for the best solutions for some time, we also asked for ideas for increasing core capacity from you as well as discussed the potential for new lines, new connections and expanding to all 8-car trains during peak periods.
There are also operational strategies Metro could employ to provide more trips on the rail system without expanding capacity. Among the various options is to promote and encourage more “reverse commuting” where commuters travel opposite the peak travel direction in seats that would otherwise be empty. Data show that reverse commuting has already increased over the past 10 years and many speculate that it will only increase further as the region builds more suburban town centers near Metro and as Metro begins operations on the Silver Line later this year.
Thank you for all for your valued contributions on MindMixer over the past several months. All of your comments and ideas have been reviewed to see what improvements we can begin to undertake and plan for and many have been incorporated into Momentum: The Next Generation of Metro, our strategic plan. We also appreciate your continued patience while we developed new topics.
We’re happy to announce that new topics are open! We want to hear from you on the staff draft of Momentum and initiatives for Metro 2025 so that we can maximize our existing system. Additionally, for the cartographers out there, there is a question about proposed changes to the Metrorail map in advance of the Silver Line opening later this year. So please log back on and let us know what you think. If you haven’t joined the conversation, please do! We want to hear from you and we’re listening.