Long-Term Trends in Patron Satisfaction of DC Circulator

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, ridership - attitudes, ridership - perceptions, place - north america


Circulator bus service, Transit, patron survey, downtown circulator


The DC Circulator is a local transit system designed to facilitate travel to and within the central business area in the District of Columbia. Since its inception in 2005, the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (DCBID) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) have been conducting surveys to assess patron trends and feedback, including their satisfaction with the services provided. The Circulator routes provide access from fringe areas to Metro rail and bus services. The Circulator was formed as a public-private enterprise that involves the DDOT, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) and DC Surface Transit, Inc. As part of its performance management program, DCBID conducted surveys of patrons during summers over the seven year period of 2005-2011. Although the data provided snapshots of consumer opinion and feedback, there was no analysis to examine how the observed variables changed over the years. In addition, the scope of the data collection was not intended to provide information for determining whether there were seasonal variations in patron perception of the quality of service. This study provides some of the trends in patron feedback and perception of the quality of service of DC Circulator using survey data compiled over the seven-year period, in addition to data collected by the research team in summer and fall of 2012. This report also presents seasonal variations (over summer and fall) in the perception of quality of service.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Mineta Transportation Institute, copyright remains with them.