Title

SUCCESSFUL ARTERIAL STREET LIMITED-STOP EXPRESS BUS SERVICE IN CHICAGO

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2001

Subject Area

infrastructure - stop, planning - safety/accidents, planning - surveys, policy - fares, mode - bus

Keywords

Travel time, Through highways, Thoroughfares, Thorofares, Surveys, Safety measures, Safety, Ridership, Public safety, Patronage (Transit ridership), Main roads, Journey time, Express buses, Customer satisfaction, Customer loyalty, Chicago (Illinois), Boulevards, Before and after studies, Arterial streets, Arterial highways

Abstract

The experimental Chicago Transit Authority Route X49 is discussed. After this route was introduced in December 1998, average weekday bus ridership on Western Avenue increased by 17%. Customer satisfaction and loyalty measures, as measured by before-and-after customer satisfaction surveys, also increased significantly for both local and express customers (Route 49 before, n=1,178; Route 49 after, n=1,006; Route X49 after, n=730). X49 customer satisfaction mean scores for five (of nine) individual service attributes in the after survey met or exceeded the standard target mean score of 4 (out of a total 5 points)--travel time (4.17), safety at the bus stop (4.09), safety on the bus (4.07), route dependability (4.01), and driver courtesy (4.00). Information provided at the bus stop rated 3.98, narrowly missing the target score. Although nearly all scores for local service attributes improved, none reached 4. A customer loyalty index was developed, based on overall satisfaction ratings, likelihood of continued riding, and willingness to recommend the route to others. X49 customer loyalty nearly doubled, from 21 to 38% of respondents assigning the highest rating of 5 points to each of the three components. A review is presented of the travel characteristics (trip purpose, trip length) of survey respondents, overall service productivity of the express and local routes, and future route improvement plans. Conclusions are drawn that reflect the bus service improvement issues and objectives of the Federal Transit Administration Bus Rapid Transit Program.