Title

MAKING BUSES BETTER IN CHICAGO: STRATEGIC IMPLEMENTATION OF CUSTOMER-DERIVED PERFORMANCE MEASURES FROM 1995 TO 2001

Authors

P J. Foote

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

operations - performance, planning - surveys, organisation - performance, mode - bus

Keywords

Surveys, Ridership, Performance, Patronage (Transit ridership), Market segmented groups, Improvements, Customer satisfaction, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago (Illinois), Bus transit operations

Abstract

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) used customer-derived performance measures to evaluate CTA bus and rail operations in a series of biennial random-digit-dial telephone surveys (1995 to 2001). These measures were used to develop customer-focused bus service improvement initiatives, the impact of which was measured in subsequent surveys. The methods described succeeded in nearly doubling CTA bus customer satisfaction levels by 2001. There were many positive impacts, not the least of which was significant growth in annual bus ridership. By the end of 2002, CTA had experienced 5 consecutive years of bus ridership growth after many years of bus ridership decline. The development and use of customer-derived performance measures, management application of research findings, methods used to prioritize survey results into actionable programs, and key results are discussed. Among the points discussed are critical definitions of customer satisfaction and loyalty, grouping of customer-derived performance attributes into performance dimensions, and benefits of geographic market segmentation techniques in focusing management initiatives.