Customers Report Satisfaction with MTA Services

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today released results from its annual series of customer satisfaction surveys conducted for all MTA services.

MTA 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey Chart Image

The results showed that satisfaction with Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad rebounded to earlier highs after a year that had been fraught with weather-related service disruptions. Satisfaction with MTA Bridges and Tunnels rose five percentage points to 85%. Satisfaction with subways and buses was largely stable, with particular notable improvements reflecting recent improvement initiatives.

Since 2010, the surveys have used a 10-point reporting scale that is standardized across all agencies in order to make interagency comparisons possible. When taking the surveys, customers are asked to grade a host of attributes on a scale of 1 to 10, with the ratings corresponding to four descriptions: Very satisfied, satisfied, dissatisfied, and very dissatisfied.

The surveys were conducted in June, and the MTA uses the results to make decisions on where to devote scarce resources for the most significant benefit. More than 18,000 people responded to the surveys, which have margins of error ranging between ±1% to ±4%.

Highlights of survey results for the MTA's individual services follow.

New York City Subways and Buses

The 2012 survey shows improvements in six key areas of subway service where New York City Transit has recently launched new initiatives. Customer ratings improved for speediness, usefulness of announcements, overall information and communications, station maintenance, and condition of handrails and escalators. Overall satisfaction with local bus service remained stable.

Long Island Rail Road

Eighty-six percent of Long Island Rail Road customers say they're satisfied or very satisfied with the railroad's overall performance in 2012, an eight percentage point improvement over last year when major storms and service reductions impacted customer satisfaction. Citing improvements in on-time performance and the level of courtesy and responsiveness from front line employees, customer satisfaction improved on 10 of the railroad's 11 branches.

Metro-North Railroad

Metro-North customers gave the railroad a 93% overall satisfaction rating in its annual survey, tying the highest level the railroad has ever received. This represents a return to the 2010 performance following a disappointing 2011 (89% satisfaction) caused by the severe winter weather that year. The high mark was in both the East of Hudson and West of Hudson markets.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Customer satisfaction at MTA's seven bridges and two tunnels rose five percentage points to 85% in 2012, with increases in categories including safety and security, road signs and road conditions. Among the largest increases was satisfaction with electronic signs, which rose to 78% satisfaction in 2012, up from 72% in 2011 and 69% in 2010. New electronic travel time signs telling motorists how long it is expected to take to reach key regional destinations and connecting highways were put in place at MTA crossings in 2011.

Copies of the presentations offering additional details on each survey can be found at this link in PDF format.