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P a r t 2 Web-Based Feedback Tool Selection Guide
87 C H A P T E R 6 The first two questions to ask when considering a web-based feedback tool are: âWhat type of feedback does my agency want to collect and what do we want to do with it?â To help answer those questions, agency needs for web-based feedback tools have been categorized as follows: (1) collect unsolicited comments from the public; (2) solicit comments from the public or defined stakeholders; (3) encourage civic engagement; and (4) manage web-based feedback. Within each broad need, several options, or subcategories have been defined. These needs are the foundation for the tool selection guide, and are used in the supporting tables and tool information sheets. The four categories of agency needs and their subcategories are described here. Collect Unsolicited Comments Agencies are looking for web-based tools to enable riders, stakeholders, and the general public to provide unsolicited feedback. While the specific topics will vary, unsolicited comments fall into two subcategories: â¢ Time-sensitive issues are those of immediate concern and that warrant real-time or same-day response. Typical time-sensitive issues would be safety and security concerns, crime, broken equipment, dangerous driving, etc. The nature of these concerns requires agencies to monitor and address issues during all hours of service. â¢ Ongoing concerns and commendations do not call for immediate action and may require addi- tional review or be folded into a planning or administrative process. Typical ongoing concerns are requests for additional hours of service, new routes, placement of a bus shelter, commendations for the operator, and policy issues (e.g., how to accommodate strollers or bicycles). Solicit Comments While agencies cannot control the volume or content of unsolicited comments, they may seek feedback on particular topics from customers or other stakeholders. Agencies soliciting such feedback are typically seeking structured communication with the public for these types of inquiries, rather than a more wide-ranging dialog or conversation. (The third agency need, âEncourage Civic Engagement,â focuses on this wide-ranging kind of public interaction.) Tools that support agency needs in this category usually allow the agency to pose a question to the public and to collect responses from the public or a defined subgroup. Agencies are likely to seek solicited feedback in the following two subcategories: â¢ Policy and planning activities are the most common reasons for needing to solicit comments from riders and the public. This category encompasses all types of questions on operating Categories of Web-Based Feedback
88 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services procedures, short- and long-range planning activities, interest in promotions, and similar topics. Note that this category does not include public hearings, which have specific legal requirements for collecting and handling comments. â¢ Public opinion polling is used to collect structured feedback on topics of interest to the agency. Questions are typically asked through web-based surveys and include travel behav- ior, customer satisfaction, testing new service concepts, and prioritization of potential new vehicle amenities. Encourage Civic Engagement In addition to receiving comments on specific topics, both solicited and unsolicited, agencies are often required or find it beneficial to have a dialog with the public. These conversations can deepen community support, inform agency decisions, and help educate the public. There are three subcategories of need for encouraging civic engagement. â¢ Building community through dialog recognizes that accessibility of the agency to the public improves the image of transit, creates a stronger bond with the community, and can result in better service and higher ridership. â¢ Agencies hold open houses and public meetings to support major planning activities. Agen- cies may want opportunities to expand the reach of these traditional in-person meetings by using web-based tools to move this activity online to complement or, in some cases, replace the traditional open house. â¢ Education and informed decision making is predominantly a customer information activity. However, in some cases dialog with customers pertaining to major planning efforts helps to educate both the riders and the agency about the needs and desires of both parties. Manage Feedback Most U.S. transit agencies have systems in place to manage feedback from customers submit- ted through traditional channels, including telephone, mail, and in-person comments. As they collect more web-based feedback, agencies face growing pressure to manage these new sources of information and integrate all agency communications into a single repository. Following are the three subcategories of agency needs. â¢ Comment tracking. Transit agencies can use this to follow the feedback loop from initial intake to internal actions to the response back to the customer. â¢ Contact management. New technologies have made it easier for transit agencies to connect with individual customers and stakeholders. Contact management establishes a database of customers and stakeholders to understand individual customer needs and provide a means for future outreach. â¢ Reporting and analysis. Web-based feedback provides agencies with information about their services and their customers. To take full advantage of this growing source of information, agencies need tools that can enable them to consolidate feedback from multiple channels, analyze comments, and create standard and customized reports.
89 C H A P T E R 7 This chapter defines four broad types of feedback tools that can be used to address categories and subcategories of agency needs. Features that define the tools types are described in this chap- ter. Tool features that are available across tool types and can be applied when implementing any web-based feedback tool, are described in Chapter 3. Types of Web-Based Feedback Tools Four overarching types of web-based tools and applications for gathering customer feedback have been identified as: (1) issue reporting tools, (2) online public comment forums, (3) cus- tomer research tools, and (4) feedback management tools. Issue Reporting Issue reporting applications include a wide variety of tools that allow the public to provide comments directly related to issues with service on the street, planning activities, operator (or customer) behavior, and maintenance. These applications are designed to facilitate collection of unsolicited comments from the public and can also be used to solicit comments on topics of interest to the agency. Subcategories of issue reporting tools are: â¢ Customer information mobile application. Mobile application that can be downloaded from the application store or agency website. Application is typically designed to provide customer information about service, including next vehicle arrivals, schedules, fares, and system informa- tion, but may include a form to collect feedback. May be developed and managed by a third-party application developer. Feedback feature is not the primary purpose of the application. â¢ Security-related mobile application. Independent application to be used to report security- related issues via mobile device. Application is typically managed by transit police. â¢ Community issue reporting tools. Websites and mobile applications that allow reporting of non-emergency issues in the community that could be transit agency specific or of a general nature (potholes, etc.). â¢ Web-based forms. Forms available on transit agency websites for users to submit questions, comments, commendations, and concerns. â¢ Social media. A series of interactive online applications that encourage users to interact with one another, create content, and share information. Online Public Comment Forums Online public comment forums are used to create structured feedback on topics generated by the agency. Subcategories of public comment forums are: â¢ Idea management. Allows agencies to generate, aggregate, and prioritize feedback from public or private online communities. Users submit ideas, vote ideas up or down, and comment on ideas. Tool Types and Features
90 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services â¢ Online public meetings. Platforms to hold public meetings online, often including live streaming of the meeting and the ability for participants to post questions to the presenters through a chat-box or other real-time, interactive tool. â¢ Map-based forums. Facilitate public feedback on planning projects through a map interface for geographic specific projects. â¢ System-building games. Online tool that allows users to conduct a virtual exercise to help riders understand the trade-offs and issues involved with real-world planning and budgeting activities. Customer Research Customer research applications use structured questionnaires to gather feedback on topics of interest to the agency. The discussion is separate from formal market research because these tools may not take into account the sampling requirements needed to provide a representative sample of the target audience. Subcategories of customer research are: â¢ Surveys. Software that supports structured questions with integrated analysis and reporting. The software allows for sophisticated skip-patterns and question branching, such as skipping questions related to light rail service if respondents indicate they only ride the bus. â¢ Live polling. Live polling of customers any time or at specific events, online, through text- messaging or through an application. â¢ Feedback panels. Online panels consist of pre-profiled and pre-recruited respondents who are ready and waiting to provide feedback. Typically feedback is solicited through an online survey; however, panel members can be invited to provide comments through almost any online tool, including discussion groups. Feedback Management Agencies use feedback management tools to manage all aspects of the feedback system, from taking in the comment, internal review, responding to the customer, analyzing results and trends, and reporting. Tools can be as simple as a stand-alone application to monitor social media or as complex as a suite of applications that integrate all agency communications. Subcategories of feedback management are: â¢ Social media dashboards. Tools used to aggregate and track activity from multiple social media accounts. â¢ Internal tracking. Software used to log, track, and respond to customer complaints and com- ments, analyze, and report trends. â¢ Customer relationship management. Contact management software with the ability to track user contact information, characteristics, activity, and comments. Tool is designed to manage information about individuals by consolidating history of their contact with the organization. Features of Web-Based Feedback Tools This section identifies key features that differentiate types of web-based feedback tools. There are many additional features of web-based feedback tools that are application specific, regardless of the type of tool being considered, such as the amount of customization available. The applica- tion specific features are discussed in Chapter 3. Each of these key differentiating features of tool types is described in the following paragraphs. Within each feature, several key terms are provided that describe the options for how different tools apply to that feature. These features and key terms are used in the Tool Selection Guide to compare types of feedback tools and identify the option that best meets agency needs.
Tool Types and Features 91 User identification refers to whether individuals making comments must register, must iden- tify themselves, or can withhold their personal information. Some security-related applications allow users to remain anonymous as a safety measure. State and local laws in some areas may not allow the transit agency to collect or act on anonymous comments, which may impact which tools can be used. User identification is not applicable (N/A) for Feedback Management tools. The terms used are: â¢ Anonymous: The person submitting the comment is not identified. â¢ Minimal: The person is identifiable through minimal personal information, such as a first name, screen name, email address, or Twitter handle. â¢ Identified: The person provides a full name and contact information. â¢ Optional: The person submitting a comment can choose whether to provide personal infor- mation or to remain anonymous. Visibility of comments refers to whether comments to the agency are visible to the public and whether the agencyâs response is public or private. Some applications allow users to choose whether their comments are visible or private; others do not offer a choice. Visibility of comments may have an impact on whether customers choose to provide personal contact information. This feature is not applicable (N/A) for Feedback Management tools. The terms used are: â¢ Public: Anyone on the web who accesses the website or application can see the comments posted. â¢ Optional: The person submitting the comments and the agency have the option of making comments open to the public. â¢ Agencyâs Option: The agency selects whether comments submitted through the tool will be visible to the public. â¢ Private: Comments are not visible to anyone but the sender and receiver. Dialog refers to whether the communication tool is typically used to engage in an ongoing dia- log between the commenter and the agency. Some tools are designed to facilitate dialog while other tools are more appropriate for one-directional communication. A discussion of agency web-based communication policies is in Chapter 2. For Feedback Management tools, dialog refers to whether agency staff is able to have an internal discussion on the individual comments. The terms are: â¢ Yes: These tools are specifically designed with the intent of facilitating a discussion between the agency and the public. The tools can limit the discussion to just the commenter and the agency, or they can make the comments open to the public for a broader discussion. â¢ Limited: Although not specifically designed to facilitate dialog, many tools will capture con- tact information that allows agencies to provide a response to the commenter. This allows back-and-forth communication between the agency and the individual, but does not create a broader dialog with the public. â¢ No: These tools do not allow back-and-forth dialog between the agency and the person pro- viding feedback. Immediacy refers to the ability for agencies to communicate with commenters in real time. Some feedback channels, especially social media, facilitate an immediate response while others, such as online forms and surveys, typically require time to process or do not support any response. Options for immediacy are: â¢ Yes: The tool is designed to allow the agency to monitor and respond to comments in real time, during all service hours; agencies may choose to set parameters to manage customer expectations and agency resources. â¢ No: The tool collects feedback but does not generally provide the ability to monitor or respond in real time.
92 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Geography-based refers to tools that have a mapping or geographic component to them. This allows easier identification of location-specific issues, such as a missing bus stop sign or a suspicious package. It also allows more specific long-range planning input related to locations for routes or stops. Tools are categorized as: â¢ Map-based: Primary use of tool is to provide geographic feedback and thus includes substan- tial mapping components. â¢ Geo-referenced: Feedback provided can be placed on a map to note the location, but map- ping is not necessary to provide feedback. â¢ Not geographic: Tool does not include geographic components. Support Needed refers to the level of technical expertise or IT staff support that is generally needed to implement the tool. It is recognized that some tools can be purchased through a ven- dor or created through custom programming. The classification looks at how each type of tool is typically implemented. â¢ Minimal support: These tools generally require only Internet access and possibly establishing user credentials and creating a password. â¢ Set-up needed: These tools generally require some level of set-up beyond Internet and log-on information. This typically includes setting up questions, adding agency branding, and creat- ing a contact list for the target audience. â¢ Technical support: These tools generally require technical support. These applications typi- cally require downloading software on an agency computer or server, and may include the need for linking the software with agency legacy systems, or need software programmers to implement the tool. Cost refers to the cost to the transit agency to use the application. Almost all feedback tools are free for individuals to use, but the cost to the agency can vary substantially and change rapidly in response to market factors. Pricing can be structured as one-time-only charges for the software with additional charges to purchase updates or as a license purchased by the month or year. The procurement process is discussed in Chapter 3. Options are: â¢ Free: Application is free to download and implement, although features may be limited. â¢ Freemium: Basic features are free but agencies pay for premium options such as the ability to customize the look and feel of the interface. â¢ Paid: The agency pays for the software tool or application and ongoing support.
93 C H A P T E R 8 The Tool Selection Guide is designed around a 3-step process for identifying the best-fit web-based feedback tools based on the agencyâs needs. The three steps walk the agency through (1) identifying the agency needs for a web-based feedback tool; (2) narrowing down choices to the best-fit tools based on tool features; and (3) selecting the preferred type of tool or tools based on the additional detail provided in the tool information sheets. The tables and information sheets have been designed to be used as part of the 3-step process or individually, depending on the agencyâs familiarity with web-based feedback tools and their needs. The 3-step process is shown in Figure 3. Step 1: Identify Best-Fit Tools Based on Agency Need The first set of tables (in Chapter 9), Tables 1 through 4, âBest-Fit Tools Based on Agency Need,â identifies the tools that are either the best fit or a good fit for a particular agency need. These quick-reference tables are organized by broad category of agency need and the subcategories within each broader category. A full description of the agency needs is found in Chapter 6. The types of tools are described in Chapter 7. There are four tables, one for each primary need: (1) collect unsolicited feedback; (2) solicit feedback; (3) encourage civic engagement; and (4) manage feedback. Each table shows which types of tools are the best fit, designated with â++â and which types of tools are a good fit, desig- nated by â+.â Types of tools that are not considered at least a good fit are left blank. See Figure 4 for an example of the âBest-Fit Tools Based on Agency Needâ table for collecting unsolicited comments from the public. The example table is for the agency need of âCollect Unsolicited Commentsâ and has the two agency need subcategories of âtime-sensitiveâ comments and âongoingâ issues. The âType of Toolâ column provides all of the tools (and their corresponding reference numbers) that address the need to collect unsolicited comments. In addition, each tool is rated on how well it addresses time-sensitive and ongoing unsolicited comments, with ++ representing the types of tools that best fit that need. For example, if an agency needs to collect time-sensitive feedback from customers on the system, such as safety and security concerns, 1.4 Web-Based Forms and 2.1 Idea Management are not recommended, while 1.2 Security-Related Mobile Application and 1.5 Social Media are a best fit for that need, and 1.1 Customer Information Mobile Application and 1.3 Community Issues are a good fit. Step 2: Compare Tool Features Based on Agency Need The second set of tables (in Chapter 9), Tables 5 through 14, âComparison of Tool Features Based on Agency Need,â provides a summary of the features for each of the best-fit tools, based on the agency need and subcategory of need. There is one table for each of the 10 subcategories of need. How to Use the Tool Selection Guide
94 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services The features of each tool are presented to help the agency understand the strengths of each type of tool and how the types of tools differ from each other. Each table includes only the tools that are a best fit or good fit for that subcategory of need. There is one comparison table for each of the subcategories of agency need for a total of 11 comparison tables. The features are described in Chapter 7. Continuing the example from Step 1, Figure 5 provides the features for various types of tools used for collecting unsolicited, time-sensitive comments from the public. Comparing 1.2 Security- Related Mobile App with 1.5 Social Media provides the following key differences: â¢ User Identification: Security-related mobile apps allow the agency to set the level of user identification required, while social media will have minimal control over user identification. Step 3: Select Tool Acon: Compare tool details using Tool Informaon Sheets Decision: Select preferred tool Step 2: Tool Features Acon: Compare features for best-fit tools using Tables 5 through 14 Decision: Select tools with desired features Step 1: Agency Need Acon: Idenfy agency need using Tables 1 through 4 Decision: Select best-fit tools (++) Figure 3. 3-step tools selection process. Figure 4. Example of best-fit tools based on agency need table (see Chapter 9 for full tables).
How to Use the Tool Selection Guide 95 â¢ Visibility of Comments: Security-related mobile apps will have private communication between the customer and the agency. The agency has the option of making social media comments to everyone on social media, which could be a concern for reporting safety and security issues. â¢ Tech Support and Cost: Security-related apps are specially designed programs provided by vendors, for a fee, and require technical support to implement. Social media is widely avail- able for free. Step 3: Compare Tools Using Tool Information Sheets The third resource is a series of detailed Tool Information Sheets. There is one sheet for each of the 15 types of feedback tools. The information sheets are linked from the tables based on type of tool and reference number. They can also be used as a stand-alone resource for information on a specific type of tool. A discussion of the types of tools is provided in Chapter 7. The information sheets are grouped by the primary type of tool (shown in the upper right- hand box) and tool sub-type. They provide a description of the type of tool, typical uses, and advantages and disadvantages of the type of tool. A summary of the tool features (consistent with what is provided in the Comparison of Tool Features Based on Agency Need tables) is provided, along with notes regarding each feature in relation to the type of tool. A notes sec- tion provides other information that may be useful to the decision-maker, followed by exam- ple tools. Finally, the agency needs for which this type of tool is a good or best fit are provided so the decision-maker can see how else the tool could help with web-based feedback needs. Figure 6 provides two examples of the tool information sheet. Continuing the example of an agency interested in collecting unsolicited, time-sensitive feed- back, the information sheet for 1.2 Security-Related Mobile Apps provides advantages of being able to attach photos and geo-locate from where the incident is being reported. The advantages of social media are that the customer likely already has the app and knows how to use it. Examples of Using the Tool Selection Guide Following are several examples of how the Tool Selection Guide can be used to facilitate a decision about which web-based feedback tool to use. The first example follows an agency through the 3-step process to select a tool that allows the agency to gather comments on a Figure 5. Example of features of tools by agency need table (see Chapter 9 for full tables).
96 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Figure 6. Example tool information sheets.
How to Use the Tool Selection Guide 97 potential operation policy change. The second example follows the 3-step process to examine options for encouraging civic engagement for a 5-year service improvement plan. The third example shows how an agency that already has an ongoing web-based feedback program can use the Tool Selection Guide to find more sophisticated tools for expanding its web-based feedback options. Example 1: Feedback for a Proposed Policy Change, Single Agency Need Situation: The Regional Transit Agency (RTA) often considers new policies in conjunction with their riders. They are currently considering a change to their stroller policy and are looking for structured feedback from customers to gauge public reaction. The current policy requires strollers to be folded up upon boarding the vehicles, which reduces safety concerns with getting strollers up and down steps of the vehicle and reduces congestion in the aisle. However, it is difficult to do for larger strollers and when more than one child is involved. Low-floor vehicles allow level boarding so that safety concerns with steps are no longer an issue. As a result, the existing policy has not been consistently enforced resulting in more congestion in the aisles and less room for other passengers. RTA is considering whether to enforce the existing policy or change the policy to reflect the dynamics of level boarding. Step 1: Identify Agency Need and Select Best-Fit Tools. RTA is interested in soliciting feed- back on a policy change, which points to the Step 1 Table âSolicit Comments.â (See Figure 7.) The first columns show the types of tools, along with their reference numbers. The next two columns provide the two subcategories of Soliciting Comments, Policy and Planning and Public Opinion Polling. For their need to get feedback on the stroller policy change, it could be either subcategory, depending on how RTA wants to structure and use the feedback. Internal discus- sion focuses the goal of the feedback as wanting to take a quick âpulse of public opinionâ and not to engage in a planning and review process. Reading down the column for Public Opinion Polling, Maria, a planner with RTA, sees that there are three best-fit tools, designated by ++, and one good-fit tool, designated by +. Maria decides to take the three best-fit options into the next step: 3.1 Surveys, 3.2 Live Polling, and 3.3 Feedback Panels. Step 2: Narrow Choices through Comparison of Tool Features. The features of the three best- fit types of tools for Public Opinion Polling types of tools are highlighted in the Step 2 table, Figure 7. Highlighted best-fit tool for soliciting comments (see Chapter 9 for full tables).
98 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services âComparison of Tools Features Based on Agency Need, Solicit Comments: Public Opinion Poll- ing.â (See Figure 8.) Comparing features for these three tools, Maria sees that Feedback Panel members are not anonymous; and she believes that due to the controversial nature of the debate around the policy change, this could impact the ability to collect honest feedback. In addition, a feedback panel would require technical support to set-up, and would have a cost. The Surveys and Live Poll- ing would be anonymous, and while set-up is required, it would not require technical support. Finally, Maria decides that their needs are simple enough that they could do it for free or at little cost using a freemium version of either online surveys or live polling. As a result, she narrows down the options to 3.1 Surveys or 3.2 Live Polling to take into Step 3. Step 3: Select Tool Based on Information Sheets. For the final review, Maria turns to the Tool Information Sheets for 3.1 Surveys and 3.2 Live Polling, to better understand the uses, advan- tages, and disadvantages of the two types of tools, and to make her final recommendation about which tool to implement. The description of and uses for the two types of tools provide additional details and differen- tiation between the type products: â¢ The description for 3.1 Surveys states that the software supports structured questions with integrated analysis and reporting and it allows for sophisticated skip-patterns and question branching. The typical uses are to solicit structured responses on specific topics from a target audience or the general public. â¢ The description for 3.2 Live Polling says it is designed to ask a specific question related to the moment, such as preferred service option during a town hall meeting, or concerns during a service disruption. Some tools can also be used in a site-specific mode, such as posting a ques- tion and text response code in a prototype bus shelter to get feedback specific to that amenity. â¢ Because the stroller policy change impacts riders throughout the system, and RTA was not planning to test the potential changes during a public meeting or other specific event, Live Polling is not considered to be the best option. Decision. Maria decides to use an online survey to assess public acceptance of the current stroller policy and the proposed changes. The survey format would provide the ability to ask structured questions of riders and the general public throughout their service district; allow quick and easy analysis; and provide built-in reports for disseminating the results to manage- ment. In addition, an online survey could be implemented by RTA staff, for little or no cost, and without having secured technical support. Figure 8. Features of tools by agency need for soliciting comments: public opinion polling (see Chapter 9 for full tables).
How to Use the Tool Selection Guide 99 Example 2: Encouraging Civic Engagement, Multiple Agency Needs Situation. Worldâs Best Transit District (WBTD) is faced with a budget imbalance that requires a significant reduction in spending, an increase in revenues, or a combination of the two approaches. They are looking for web-based tools to create a stronger bond with the com- munity and their stakeholders, while at the same time gathering feedback and prioritization on the proposed options for bridging the budget gap. Step 1: Identify Agency Need and Select Best-Fit Tools. The primary need of the feedback is covered in the Step 1 table Encourage Civic Engagement. Within this category are the sub- categories of Building Community, Open Houses, and Education. From internal discussions, WBTD staff member Chris knows that the agency would like to educate the public about transit, and build a community of knowledgeable transit advocates. The subcategories of need are the columns âBuilding Communityâ and âEducation.â The columns on the left provide the types of tools and numbers that are appropriate for encouraging civic engage- ment. There are two types of tools that are a best fit for Building Community: 1.5 Social Media and 2.1 Idea Management. There are two additional types of tools that are a best fit for Education: 2.2 Online Meetings and 2.4 System-Building Games. Chris also notes that the several types of tools that are a best fit for one subcategory are a good fit for the other need. (See Figure 9.) WBTD has previously pursued online meetings and Chris knows that they are not interested in pursuing online meetings for this project; therefore he has excluded that type of tool from the options they wish to consider. As a result, three types of tools are carried forward to Step 2: 1.5 Social Media, 2.1 Idea Management, and 2.4 System-Building Games. Step 2: Narrow Choices through Comparison of Tool Features. Chris identified two sub- categories of agency needs within the category of Encourage Civic Engagement: Building Com- munity and Education. In order to compare the features of best-fit tools, he needs to reference two tables within Step 2, one for Building Community and one for Educational Tools. The three types of tools (1.5 Social Media, 2.1 Idea Management, and 2.4 System-Building Games) are found in both tables. The fit varies by subcategory of need: Social Media and Idea Manage- ment are best-fit tools for Building Community; while System-Building Games are a best-fit tool for Educational Tools. The features of the types of tools are the same regardless of which Step 2 table they appear in. (See Figure 10 and Figure 11.) Comparing features for the three types of tools, Chris sees that the differences span the range of options, from free to paid, from minimal support to requiring technical support, etc. This provides flexibility for WBTD, but no clear direction on which type of tool would be best. For additional information, Chris turns to the Tool Information Sheets. Figure 9. Highlighted best-fit tools for building community and for education (see Chapter 9 for full tables).
100 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Step 3: Select Tool Based on Information Sheets. The tool information sheets (see Figure 12) describe the uses, advantages and disadvantages, and features of the types of tools, and provide notes that can help the decision makers determine the best tool. The Tool Information Sheets for the three types of tools are reviewed to learn what the advantages are of each, and which may provide the best options given their needs. The Information Sheets yield the following comparison: â¢ Uses: Social media allows the agency to spark conversation and gather feedback, but does not appear to provide much structure for discussing specific options or narrowing choices. Idea management tools excel at generating ideas and allow people to vote ideas up and down. The system-building games appear to be great for creating a method for the public to build a system within constraints set by the agency, so that the respondent has to make trade-offs to create a viable system. Figure 10. Highlighted types of tools: building community (see Chapter 9 for full tables). Figure 11. Highlighted features, types of tools for education (see Chapter 9 for full tables).
How to Use the Tool Selection Guide 101 â¢ Advantages/Disadvantages: Social media is a well-established tool that most people are famil- iar with, and can easily use to provide feedback. However, the comments may need a high degree of monitoring and need to be âpulled-outâ of the chain of posts in order to summarize into useful feedback. Idea management tools are designed to generate ideas and have people vote them up or down, creating a priority list of improvements for the agency. However, peo- ple may vote up ideas that are not operationally or economically feasible, or create off-topic concepts that gain traction, reducing the focus on the plan. System-building games allow the agency to provide information and options from which to choose that are realistic options for the planning effort. The game aspect of the tool may create more activity to the site due to the âfunâ nature of the exercise. However, it takes a lot of staff time to create the options and sce- narios that are realistic for the public and the agency, and the public needs to become engaged Figure 12. Tool information sheets for social media, idea management and system-building games.
102 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services in the process to provide meaningful feedback. In addition, while an âotherâ option can be allowed, the basic structure does not support new ideas from the public since it is unlikely that a cost/benefit profile could be provided for the new idea. Having reviewed all of the information on the tools, Chris evaluates where WBTD is in their budget planning process and which tool best matches their needs. Their original intent was to engage and educate the public on the hard choices in operating a transit system under con- strained fiscal conditions. Social Media is seen as a good way to provide information, but does not provide the engagement and focused feedback the agency wants on real-life trade-offs. Idea Management provides ideas and gets a good discussion going with some degree of prioritization through voting ideas up and down. However, WBTD feels that the options would not necessar- ily be useful for the short timeframe the agency has to make the budget decisions. The System- Building Games would take extra staff time to develop realistic and useful options, but would provide a method of engaging the public with the dynamics of transit planning, and hopefully create a more informed public in the future. Decision. Chris recommends System-Building Games as the best tool. The tool provides a tally of how many people support the various initiatives to decide which options should be eliminated from further discussion. Because the tool requires respondents to make financial choices about transit, it educates the respondents about transit financial issues. Furthermore, as the local press picks up the information and spreads the message, the local community is educated as well. The gaming nature of the tool is expected to engage a wider audience than traditional outreach efforts, helping to increase civic engagement. This provides WBTD the information they need to prepare a balanced budget with the most support from the community and least chance of negative press. Example 3: Tools for Expanding an Existing Web-Based Feedback Program Situation. Mountains and Valleys Transit Authority (MVTA) has been active with web-based customer feedback for many years and regularly uses several web-based feedback tools. Facing a decreasing number of attendees at public meetings for budget, service, and fare changes, they are looking for new ways to engage the public. It has been suggested that they hold their public meetings online. While open to the idea, MVTA is interested in how online meeting tools are used, what features are characteristic of the tools, and the advantages/disadvantages of online meeting tools. Steps 1â3 Condensed. MVTA knows that they are looking for Online Public Comment Forums and, specifically, tools for Online Public Meetings. Given this understanding of their needs, they are able to go straight to the Tool Information Sheet, 2.2 Online Public Meetings. Using the information provided, and additional information on features available to specific applications (described in Chapter 3), MVTA staff is able to define when and how they want to use the tool, the features they need in the tool, and the staff resources required to successfully implement online meetings. This supports the development of a solicitation to procure online meeting software specific to their needs.
103 C H A P T E R 9 This chapter provides tables to guide an agency through to selection of a web-based feedback tool or to obtain further details about particular tools that an agency is considering. There are three resources in the guide, each of which corresponds to a step of the 3-step process described in Chapter 8. The first resource is a set of four tables to support Step 1 of the process, providing best-fit tools based on the agency need for web-based feedback. The second resource is a set of ten tables that support Step 2 of the process, providing the features of the types of tools, based on the category and subcategory of agency need. The third resource is a series of Tool Informa- tion Sheets that support Step 3 of the process, providing detailed information about each of the types of tools. The categories and subcategories of agency needs used in the tables are explained in Chap- ter 6. The categories of tools and tool features used throughout the chapter are explained in Chapter 7. Three examples of how to use these tables in a step-by-step process are provided in Chapter 8. Best-Fit Tools Based on Agency Need Tables 1 through 4 identify the tools that are either a best fit or a good fit for each of the 10 subcategories of agency need. There is one table for each of the four categories of agency need. The subcategories of needs are found in the columns. The types of tools are listed in the rows of each table. Only the types of tools that are best fit or good fit for one of the subcategories of need are shown in the table. Best-fit tools are designated with â++â and good-fit tools are designated by â+.â Blanks indi- cate that the tool is not typically recommended for that subcategory of need. Types of tools that are not considered at least a good fit for any of the main categories of need in the table are not included. Comparison of Tool Features Based on Agency Need Tables 5 through 14 provide a summary of the features for each of the types of tools consid- ered good-fit or best-fit tools, based on the category and subcategory of agency need. There is one table for each of the 10 subcategories of agency need. The columns in each table include the tools that are best fit or good fit for the particular sub- category of need. The features of each of tool are found in the rows to help the agency understand the differences between each tool. The features are described in Chapter 7. Tool Selection Guide
104 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Type of Tool Time Sensive Ongoing 1.1 Customer Informaon Mobile Applicaon + + 1.2 Security Related Mobile Applicaon ++ + 1.3 Community Issues + ++ 1.4 Web Based Forms ++ 1.5 Social Media ++ ++ 2.1 Idea Management + Table 1. Best-fit tools for agency need: collect unsolicited comments. Type of Tool Policy and Planning Public Opinion Polling 1.4 Web Based Forms + 1.5 Social Media + 2.1 Idea Management ++ + 2.2 Online Public Meengs ++ 2.3 Map Based Forums ++ 2.4 System Building Games ++ 3.1 Surveys ++ ++ 3.2 Live Polling + ++ 3.3 Feedback Panels ++ ++ Table 2. Best-fit tools for agency need: solicit comments. Type of Tool Building Community Open Houses Educaon 1.3 Community Issues + 1.5 Social Media ++ + + 2.1 Idea Management ++ + 2.2 Online Public Meengs + ++ ++ 2.3 Map Based Forums + ++ 2.4 System Building Games + ++ 3.3 Feedback Panels + + Table 3. Best-fit tools for agency need: encourage civic engagement. Type of Tool Comment Tracking Contact Management Reporng and Analysis 4.1 Social Media Dashboards ++ ++ 4.2 Internal Tracking ++ ++ 4.3 Customer Relaonship Management + ++ + Table 4. Best-fit tools for agency need: manage feedback.
Tool Selection Guide 105 Tool Number 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.5 Type of Tool Customer Informaon Mobile App Security-Related Mobile App Community Issues Social Media Best-Fit: + ++ + ++ Features: User Idenficaon Anonymous Oponal Oponal Minimal Visibility of Comments Private Private Agency Opon Oponal Dialog No Yes Yes Yes Immediacy No Yes No Yes Geography-Based Geo-referenced Geo-referenced Geo-referenced Geo-referenced Support Needed Tech Support Tech Support Set-up Needed Minimal Support Cost Paid Paid Freemium Free Table 5. Tool features for agency need: collect unsolicited commentsâtime-sensitive. Tool Number 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 2.1 Type of Tool Customer Info App Security- Related App Community Issues Web-Based Forms Social Media Idea Management Best-Fit: + + ++ ++ ++ + Features: User Idenficaon Anonymous Oponal Oponal Oponal Minimal Oponal Visibility of Comments Private Private Agency Opon Private Oponal Agency Opon Dialog No Yes Yes Limited Yes Yes Immediacy No Yes No No Yes No Geography-Based Geo- referenced Geo- referenced Geo- referenced Not Geographic Geo- referenced Not Geographic Support Needed Tech Support Tech Support Set-up Needed Set-up Needed Minimal Support Set-up Needed Cost Paid Paid Freemium Free Free Freemium Table 6. Tool features for agency need: collect unsolicited commentsâongoing concerns.
106 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Tool Number 1.4 1.5 2.1 2.2 Type of Tool Web-Based Forms Social Media Idea Management Online Public MeeÂngs Best-Fit: + + ++ ++ Features: User Idenficaon Oponal Minimal Oponal Idenfied Visibility of Comments Private Oponal Agency Opon Public Dialog Limited Yes Yes Limited Immediacy No Yes No Yes Geography-Based Not Geographic Geo-referenced Not Geographic Not Geographic Support Needed Set-up Needed Minimal Support Set-up Needed Set-up Needed Cost Free Free Freemium Paid Tool Number 2.3 2.4 3.1 3.2 3.3 Type of Tool Map-Based Forums System- Building Games Surveys Live Polling Feedback Panels Best-Fit: ++ ++ ++ + ++ Features: User Idenficaon Oponal Oponal Anonymous Anonymous Idenfied Visibility of Comments Public Oponal Private Private Agencyâs Opon Dialog Limited Limited No No Limited Immediacy No No No Yes No Geography-Based Map-based Varies by Topic Not Geographic Not Geographic Not Geographic Support Needed Set-up Needed Tech Support Set-up Needed Set-up Needed Tech support Cost Paid Paid Freemium Freemium Paid Table 7. Tool features for agency need: solicit commentsâpolicy and planning activities. Tool Number 2.1 3.1 3.2 3.3 Type of Tool Idea Management Surveys Live Polling Feedback Panels Best Fit: + ++ ++ ++ Features User Idenficaon Oponal Anonymous Anonymous Idenfied Visibility of Comments Agency Opon Private Private Agencyâs Opon Dialog Yes No No Limited Immediacy No No Yes No Geography Based Not Geographic Not Geographic Not Geographic Not Geographic Support Needed Set up Needed Set up Needed Set up Needed Tech support Cost Freemium Freemium Freemium Paid Table 8. Tool features for agency need: commentsâpublic opinion polling.
Tool Selection Guide 107 Tool Number 1.3 1.5 2.1 2.2 Type of Tool Community Issues Social Media Idea Management Online Public MeeÂngs Best-Fit: + ++ ++ + Features User Idenficaon Oponal Minimal Oponal Idenfied Visibility of Comments Agency Opon Oponal Agency Opon Public Dialog Yes Yes Yes Limited Immediacy No Yes No Yes Geography-Based Geo-referenced Geo-referenced Not Geographic Not Geographic Support Needed Set-up Needed Minimal Support Set-up Needed Set-up Needed Cost Freemium Free Freemium Paid Tool Number 2.3 2.4 3.3 Type of Tool Map-Based Forums System-Building Games Feedback Panels Best-Fit: + + + Features User Idenficaon Oponal Oponal Idenfied Visibility of Comments Public Oponal Agencyâs Opon Dialog Limited Limited Limited Immediacy No No No Geography-Based Map-based Varies by Topic Not Geographic Support Needed Set-up Needed Tech Support Tech Support Cost Paid Paid Paid Table 9. Tool features for agency need: encourage civic engagementâbuilding community. Tool Number 1.5 2.2 2.3 Type of Tool Social Media Online Public Meengs Map-Based Forums Best-Fit: + ++ ++ Features User Idenficaon Minimal Idenfied Oponal Visibility of Comments Oponal Public Public Dialog Yes Limited Limited Immediacy Yes Yes No Geography-Based Geo-referenced Not Geographic Map-based Support Needed Minimal Support Set-up Needed Set-up Needed Cost Free Paid Paid Table 10. Tool features for agency need: encourage civic engagementâopen houses.
108 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Tool Number 1.5 2.1 2.2 2.4 3.3 Type of Tool Social Media Idea Management Online Public Meengs System- Building Games Feedback Panels Best-Fit: + + ++ ++ + Features User Idenficaon Minimal Oponal Idenfied Oponal Idenfied Visibility of Comments Oponal Agency Opon Public Oponal Agencyâs Opon Dialog Yes Yes Limited Limited Limited Immediacy Yes No Yes No No Geography-Based Geo- referenced Not Geographic Not Geographic Varies by Topic Not Geographic Support Needed Minimal Support Set-up Needed Set-up Needed Tech Support Tech Support Cost Free Freemium Paid Paid Paid Table 11. Tool features for agency need: encourage civic engagementâeducational tools. Tool Number 4.1 4.2 4.3 Type of Tool Social Media Dashboards Internal Tracking Customer Relaonship Management Best Fit: ++ ++ + Features User Idenficaon Minimal Oponal Idenfied Visibility of Comments Oponal Private Private Dialog Yes Yes Limited Immediacy Yes Yes No Geography Based Not Geographic Not Geographic Not Geographic Support Needed Set up Needed Tech Support Tech Support Cost Freemium / Paid Paid Paid Table 12. Tool features for agency need: manage feedbackâcomment tracking. Tool Number 4.3 Type of Tool Customer Relaonship Management Best Fit: ++ Features User Idenficaon Idenfied Visibility of Comments Private Dialog Limited Immediacy No Geography Based Not Geographic Support Needed Tech Support Cost Paid Table 13. Tool features for agency need: manage feedbackâcontact management.
Tool Selection Guide 109 Tool Number 4.1 4.2 4.3 Type of Tool Social Media Dashboards Internal Tracking Customer Relaonship Management Best Fit: ++ ++ + Features User Idenficaon Minimal Oponal Idenfied Visibility of Comments Oponal Private Private Dialog Yes Yes Limited Immediacy Yes Yes No Geography Based Not Geographic Not Geographic Not Geographic Support Needed Set up Needed Tech Support Tech Support Cost Freemium / Paid Paid Paid Table 14. Tool features for agency need: manage feedbackâreporting and analysis. Tool Information Sheets The tool information sheets are grouped by the primary type of tool (shown in the upper right-hand box) and tool sub-type. Each one provides a description of the type of tool, typi- cal uses, and advantages and disadvantages of the type of tool. A summary of the tool features (consistent with what is provided in the Comparison of Tool Features Based on Agency Need tables) is provided, along with notes regarding each feature in relation to the type of tool. A notes section provides other information that may be useful to the decision-maker, followed by example tools. Finally, the agency needs for which this type of tool is a good or best fit are provided so the decision-maker can see how else the tool could help with web-based feedback needs. A discussion of the types of tools is provided in Chapter 7. The information sheets include the following tools: 1. Issue reporting 1.1 Customer Information Mobile Application 1.2 Security-Related Mobile Application 1.3 Community Issues 1.4 Web-Based Forms 1.5 Social Media 2. Online Public Comment Forum 2.1 Idea Management 2.2 Online Public Meetings 2.3 Map-Based Forums 2.4 System-Building Games 3. Customer Research 3.1 Surveys 3.2 Live Polling 3.3 Feedback Panels 4. Feedback Management 4.1 Social Media Dashboards 4.2 Internal Tracking 4.3 Customer Relationship Management
110 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Issue Reporting 1.1 Customer Informaon Mobile Applicaon Descripon: Mobile applicaon that can be downloaded from the applicaon store or agency website. Applicaon is typically designed to provide customer informaon about service, including next vehicle arrivals, schedules, fares, and system informaon, but may include a form to collect feedback. May be developed and managed by a third-party applicaon developer. Feedback feature is not the primary purpose of the applicaon. Uses: Service delivery complaints and commendaons; general rider comments. Advantages Disadvantages Adding a customer feedback form through a mobile applicaon is a simple method of gathering feedback from regular transit riders and commuters, who are most likely to have already downloaded the applicaon for daily use. Applicaon updates can be difficult to procure for agencies and therefore oÂ en require in-house coding experse. Because primary funconality of applicaon is not feedback, feature is not designed specifically to facilitate commenng. Third-party applicaons may not require agencies to be involved in the development, and access to riders may be provided free of charge. If feedback process is not automated, third-party developers may not forward informaon to transit agency in mely manner. Agencies can be held accountable despite lack of control. Responding to the commenter can be difficult. Features User idenficaon Users typically remain anonymous. Visibility of comments Comments are not visible to anyone but the sender and receiver. Dialog Typically does not allow back-and-forth dialog between the agency and the user, although two-way communicaon may be possible if users provide an email address in the form. Immediacy Does not generally provide the ability to monitor or respond in real-me. Geography-based Using smartphone GPS, comments can be tagged for locaon (geo-referenced). Support needed Substanal technical support is required to inially set-up or develop the tool as well as update it over me. Cost Most free to the public to download and use, although those developed by third-pares somemes charge a small fee. Applicaon development cost will vary, but adding feedback component is likely to have low incremental cost. Third-party applicaons may be developed independent of and without cost to the agency. Notes: Desirable to have comments automacally categorized and loaded into the agencyâs exisng customer comment system. Categorizaon can be facilitated by using drop-down menus on the comment form for the customer to choose the category. Form can be nave to the mobile applicaon or a link to a mobile-opmized form hosted on the agency website. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: None; Good-Fit: Collect Unsolicited Comments (Time-sensive, Ongoing). Note that these tools were deemed only a good fit, because they are not designed expressly for feedback. Example Tools: CATS mobile applicaon, Tiramisu, OneBusAway
Tool Selection Guide 111 Issue Reporting Descripon: Independent applicaon to be used to report security-related issues via mobile device. Applicaon is typically managed by transit police. Uses: Reporng security issues (illegally parked vehicle, abandoned bags, suspicious behavior, drugs being used or sold, sighng of a wanted suspect, shoong, etc.); also general customer comments. Advantages Disadvantages Applicaon enables direct real-me communicaon with the transit agency via mobile phone or text. Applicaon intended for security-related communicaon with transit police and as such, may not be useful to a rider on a day-to-day basis. Allows photos and geotagging to make very specific reports of issues. When a rider is ready to report a problem, the applicaon would have to be downloaded if not already in use. Features User idenficaon Users can provide contact informaon or choose to remain anonymous. Visibility of comments Comments are not visible to anyone but the sender and receiver. Dialog The transit dispatcher can web chat or text message with riders, even if they chose to remain anonymous. In addion to receiving reports, transit police can send out alerts (e.g., missing persons, suspects that they want idenfied). Immediacy Due to the security nature of the tool, it is designed to require the agency to monitor and respond to comments in real me during all hours of service. Geography-based Reports are geotagged using device GPS and mapped on the client console. Support needed Substanal technical support is required to inially set-up or develop the tool as well as update it over me. Cost Most free to the public to download and use. Price of service based on the size of transit system, with a one-me set-up fee and then annual hosng and maintenance fee ranging from $20,000 to $95,000 per year. Notes: Applicaon hosted in the cloud to prevent potenal access to sensive informaon with the police force. The customer-facing app works on Wi-Fi and cellular data networks. If the user is in a subway tunnel or other locaon without connecvity, the applicaon will nofy the user and report will remain in queue to be delivered as soon as a signal is available. Applicaon disables flash feature on phone so users can discreetly take a photo of a suspicious situaon to share with transit police. Two-way photo feature allows police to display and circulate photos (e.g., missing persons). Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Collect Unsolicited Comments (Time-sensive); Good-Fit: Collect Unsolicited Comments (Ongoing) Example Tools: ELERTS SeeSay 1.2 Security-Related Mobile Applicaon
112 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Issue Reporting Descripon: Websites and mobile applicaons that allow reporng of non-emergency issues in the community that could be transit agency specific or of a general nature (e.g., potholes). Uses: Reporng graffi, trash, downed trees, missing signs, etc., primarily by the public but also internally within an agency. Advantages Disadvantages Applicaons are available in most communies and can therefore be used naonwide. Applicaons may not be transit specific and therefore may require coordinaon with other agencies. Routes the report to the appropriate local government agencies by service request category or geolocaon of issue. Applicaons are typically controlled by third-pares and therefore agencies are dependent on others in their responses to customers. Features User idenficaon Users can provide contact informaon or choose to remain anonymous. Visibility of comments Resident is able to register with service via email, or submit comments anonymously. As public-facing issue reports are entered, all users of the system can see them. In some cases, issues remain private because of legal requirements or security concerns. Agencies can keep the communicaon loop closed if needed. Dialog Agencies can respond to users to let them know when a request has been received, processed, and closed. People can post a thank you when something is fixed. Immediacy Does not generally provide the ability to monitor or respond in real-me. Geography-based Using smartphone GPS, comments can be tagged for locaon (geo-referenced). Support needed At a basic level, set-up is minimal. For higher level usage of the tool, set-up is required, but can be handled within the department using the tool. Cost Front-end applicaon is free for users. The applicaons operate on a freemium basis with free basic access to agencies. Backend processing for agencies is a contract price based on populaon and features, number of agency users and integraons required to meet the needs of the client, ranging from $15,000 to $90,000 per client annually. Notes: Can be used for internal planning and crew management. Defined territories can be used to nofy residents in a form of reverse 311. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Collect Unsolicited Comments (Ongoing); Good-Fit: Collect Unsolicited Comments (Time-sensive), Encourage Civic Engagement (Building Community) Example Tools: SeeClickFix, PublicStuff, Cizens Connect, FixMyTransport 1.3 Community Issues
Tool Selection Guide 113 Issue Reporting Descripon: Forms posted on transit agency websites for users to submit ques ons, comments, commenda ons, and concerns. Uses: Repor ng issues like missing signs, late buses, and rude operators; also posi ve experiences like operators who go out of their way to provide excellent customer service. Advantages Disadvantages Forms are easy to use for any rider who has Internet access. Agencies have to design ques ons, form naviga on, and associated menus thoughÂully to ensure that users can provide per nent and correct informa on. Forms are oÂen designed and managed by the agency itself without third-party par cipa on or soÂware purchase. Comments are not easily viewed by the public. Features User iden fica on Users can provide contact informa on or choose to remain anonymous. Visibility of comments Comments are not visible to anyone but the sender and receiver. Dialog Individuals usually receive an automated acknowledgement aer subming the report. Agencies will somemes respond to commenters if an email address is provided. Immediacy Does not generally provide the ability to monitor or respond in real-me. Geography-based Does not typically include geotagging or mapping of comments. Support needed Set-up is required, but can be handled within the department using the tool. Cost Typically free to set-up, but require staff me to process and respond. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Collect Unsolicited Comments (Ongoing); Good-Fit: Solicit Comments (Policy and Planning) Example Tools: Google Forms, Wufoo, Contact Us Forms hosted internally on transit agency website 1.4 Web-Based Forms
114 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Issue Reporting 1.5 Social Media Descripon: A series of interacve online applicaons that encourage users to interact with one another, create content, and share informaon. Uses: Users may submit comments, photos, and/or video directly to agency maintained pages and user accounts. Late buses, nice or rude operators, broken equipment, and desired service changes may all be common topics of comments. Advantages Disadvantages Many individuals are already using social media tools for personal communicaons and can easily parcipate. Social media channels may limit the length of posts (especially TwiÂ er) which may make it difficult to convey details about an incident. The widespread use of social media on mobile devices makes it easy for riders to share feedback about transit condions in real me so that agencies can respond quickly to me-sensive issues. The public nature of social media conversaons may compromise rider privacy. Social media channels make it easy for individuals to document issues and concerns with photos and videos. The amount of me dedicated to responding and monitoring social media could be resource intensive for agencies. Features User idenficaon User is idenfiable through minimal personal informaon, such as a first name, screen name, email address, or Twier handle. Visibility of comments Most comments are sent publicly, such that followers of the transit agency would at least be able to see them. Users and agencies do have the opon to send more private direct messages. Dialog These tools are specifically designed with the intent of facilitang a discussion between the agency and the public. Agencies may choose to respond only to selected comments. Immediacy Designed to allow the agency to monitor and respond to comments in real me, all service hours, all days; agencies may choose to set parameters to manage customer expectaons and agency resources. Geography-based Using smartphone GPS, comments can be tagged for locaon (geo-referenced). Support needed Technical support is not required and necessary set-up is minimal. Cost Typically free, but some premium social media accounts do have a cost, which varies by account type. Notes: Some social media tools also allow for polling of followers, or can be used to disseminate links to surveys not hosted on social media plaÂorms. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Collect Unsolicited Comments (Time-sensive, Ongoing), Encourage Civic Engagement (Building Community); Good-Fit: Solicit Comments (Policy and Planning), Encourage Civic Engagement (Open Houses, Educaon) Example Tools: Twier, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+
Tool Selection Guide 115 Descripon: Allows agencies to generate, aggregate, and priorize feedback from public or private online communies. Users submit ideas, vote ideas up or down, and comment on ideas. Uses: Obtain ideas from the public; finding most popular ideas. Advantages Disadvantages Allows users to provide ideas and enables others to read, vote and comment quickly and at a me that is convenient to them. Requires acve agency management. Agencies can customize tool to encourage comments in areas of focus. Users somemes deviate from the topic the agency is aÂempng to discuss and provide broader comments. Point systems used by many of these applicaons encourage greater parcipaon. Public interacon and vong system may be inmidang for some users. Features User idenficaon Users can provide contact informaon or choose to remain anonymous. Visibility of comments Communies can be public or private. Ideas are always seen by all members of the community to allow commenng. Dialog Specifically designed with the intent of facilitang a discussion between the agency and the public. Successful communies assign an individual to monitor, respond, and update the status of ideas as they move through the life cycle. Immediacy Does not generally provide the ability to monitor or respond in real-me. Geography-based Does not typically include geotagging or mapping of comments. Support needed Set-up is required, but can be handled within the department using the tool. Cost Freemium service model with inial free account and upgrades by monthly or yearly subscripon. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Solicit Comments (Policy and Planning), Encourage Civic Engagement (Building Community); Good-Fit: Collect Unsolicited Comments (Ongoing), Solicit Comments (Public Opinion Polling), Encourage Civic Engagement (Educaon) Example Tools: Ideascale, Get Sasfacon, Uservoice Online Public Comment Forum 2.1 Idea Management
116 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services 2.2 Online Public Meengs Descripon: Plaorms to hold public meengs online, oen including live streaming of the meeng and the ability for parcipants to post quesons to the presenters through a chat-box or other real-me, interacve tool. Uses: Informing the public and solicing comments on agency policy, budgeng, fare and service changes, and planning acvies. Agencies may pose specific quesons to which the constuents are encouraged to respond with their ideas. Advantages Disadvantages Allows parcipaon in public meengs without physical aÂ endance, potenally reaching a wider and more diverse audience. Requires acve agency management. Point systems and reward stores used to encourage parcipaon. Customizaon to encourage commenng in the areas agency is currently focused on improving. Some users may prefer an opon to comment anonymously. Features User idenficaon User provides full name and contact informaon. Anonymous parcipaon is typically not allowed due to the nature of the tool. Visibility of comments Anyone on the web who accesses the applicaon can see the comments posted. Dialog Although not specifically designed to facilitate dialog, many tools will allow a response to the commenter. In some cases, when agencies act on a specific idea, the system nofies everyone who commented or voted. Immediacy Oen designed to require the agency to monitor and respond to comments in real me, with meeng mes typically adversed in advance. Recording is oen posted online aer the meeng has ended. Geography-based Does not typically include geotagging or mapping of comments. Support needed Set-up is required, but can be handled within the department using the tool. Cost Priced on a monthly maintenance basis based on the clientâs service populaon, with a range of $299 to $899 per month. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Solicit Comments (Policy and Planning), Encourage Civic Engagement (Open Houses, Educaon); Good-Fit: Encourage Civic Engagement (Building Community) Example Tools: Mindmixer, MetroQuest, OpenTownHall, EngagementHQ Online Public Comment Forum
Tool Selection Guide 117 2.3 Map-Based Forums Descripon: Facilitates public feedback on planning projects through a map interface for geographic specific projects. Uses: Solicing locaons for facilies, such as bike share staons or desired bus stops. Collecng comments about locaons, such as short surveys about usage and quality of transit staons. Solicing feedback about proposed project corridors or route alignments using geotagged comments to idenfy parcular quesons or concerns. User can vote in favor of suggested locaons on the map, allowing the client agency to priorize locaons. Advantages Disadvantages Allows geographic commenng to beÂer visualize locaon-based feedback. Requires basic level of proficiency reading and interpreng maps. Some users may drop a locaon âpinâ in the wrong locaon. Supports simple mapping features such as a âheat mapâ of suggesons and summaries of results by different criteria, such as a breakdown by neighborhood. Screen readers cannot interpret map-based systems, liming access for visually impaired users. Features User idenficaon Users can provide contact informaon or choose to remain anonymous. Visibility of comments Anyone on the web who accesses the applicaon can see the comments posted. Dialog Although not specifically designed to facilitate dialog, many tools will allow a response to the commenter. In some cases, when agencies act on a specific idea, the system nofies everyone who commented or voted. Immediacy Does not generally provide the ability to monitor or respond in real-me. Geography-based The purpose of this tool type is to allow comments on planning projects in a map-based interface. Support needed Set-up is required, but can be handled within the department using the tool. Cost Cost varies with tool and may be agency-specific. One example applicaon has an all- inclusive bundle for $10,000 including design customizaon, server management, and monitoring the site for a year. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Solicit Comments (Policy and Planning), Encourage Civic Engagement (Open Houses); Good-Fit: Encourage Civic Engagement (Building Community) Example Tools: Shareabouts, PlaceSpeak Online Public Comment Forum
118 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services 2.4 System-Building Games Descripon: Online tool that allows users to conduct a virtual exercise to help riders understand the trade-offs and issues involved with real-world planning and budgeng acvies. Uses: Users can design their own transit system or allocate funds for an agencyâs budget in a virtual space. Plans and suggesons are typically shared with the sponsoring transit agency for consideraon. Advantages Disadvantages Educates users about the planning process while gathering project-specific feedback. Requires a high level of parcipaon from the client agency to conceptualize, design, and develop the game. Gamificaon system encourages greater parcipaon by making it fun. Requires thoughÂul parcipaon and me commitment from riders to make a meaningful contribuon. Features User idenficaon Typically users can provide contact informaon or choose to remain anonymous. This may vary depending on the design of the specific applicaon. Visibility of comments Comments and plans may be shared publicly or privately. Dialog Although not specifically designed to facilitate dialog, many tools will allow a response to the commenter. In some cases, when agencies act on a specific idea, the system nofies everyone who commented or voted. Immediacy Does not generally provide the ability to monitor or respond in real-me. Geography-based Varies widely by topic. Service design games are likely map-based, while budget games will not have a geographic component. Support needed Substanal technical support is required to inially set-up or develop the tool as well as update it over me. Cost Applicaon development costs will vary and are oÂen agency-specific. More complex applicaons are likely to have higher development fees. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Solicit Comments (Policy and Planning), Encourage Civic Engagement (Educaon); Good-Fit: Encourage Civic Engagement (Building Community) Example Tools: Portland Metroâs Build-a-system, San Francisco County Transportaon Authorityâs Budget Czar and MyStreetSF, BudgetSimulator Online Public Comment Forum
Tool Selection Guide 119 3.1 Surveys Descripon: Soware that supports structured ques ons with integrated analysis and repor ng. The soware allows for sophis cated skip-paerns and ques on branching, such as skipping ques ons related to light rail service if the respondent indicates they only ride the bus. Uses: Used to solicit structured responses on specific topics from a target audience or the general public. Advantages Disadvantages Structured ques ons and response categories provide specific and measurable feedback from a broad-based and poten ally very large audience. Online survey tools do not draw a true random sample required for sta s cally valid surveys, so results should be characterized as feedback, not as representa ve of the popula on. The online format and built-in analysis and repor ng func ons allow the agency to solicit feedback from a wide audience with minimal staff me. There is no certainty as to who is actually providing responses to the survey, which can result in spurious comments, including fake responses (for the fun of it), and responses from people outside of the service area who may have lile or no personal knowledge of the topic. Ques onnaires can be stored and repeated periodically to gauge change over me, such as for an annual customer sa sfac on survey. Open-ended ques ons that allow free-flowing comments do not take advantage of the tool's ability to summarize results, and are staff-intensive to analyze. Features User idenficaon Users typically remain anonymous, although some surveys may request general demographic informaon to categorize results. Visibility of comments Comments are not visible to anyone but the sender and receiver. Dialog Typically do not allow back-and-forth dialog between the agency and the user, although with an email address provided, two-way communicaon may be possible. Immediacy Does not generally provide the ability to monitor or respond in real-me. Geography-based Does not typically include geotagging or mapping of comments. Support needed Set-up is required, but can be handled within the department using the tool. Cost Operates on a freemium basis with basic tools available for free, but greater customizaon and funconality on a subscripon basis. Notes: Many survey soÂware programs have mobile-opmized websites to allow transit riders to take surveys while they are waing for a vehicle or riding on a bus or train. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Solicit Comments (Policy and Planning, Public Opinion Polling); Good-Fit: None Example Tools: SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo, Zoomerang, Survs, PollDaddy, Vovici, Google Forms Customer Research
120 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services 3.2 Live Polling Descripon: Live polling of customers any me or at specific events, online, through text-messaging, or through an applicaon. Uses: Ask a specific queson related to the moment, such as preferred service opon during a town hall meeng, or concerns during a service disrupon. Some tools can also be used in a site-specific mode, such as posng a queson and text response code in a prototype bus shelter to get feedback specific to that amenity. Advantages Disadvantages Polls are accessible from anywhere, via the Internet, text-messaging, and mobile applicaons. Survey wording must support brief responses, suitable to text-messaging. Text-messaging does not require use of smartphone, thus broadening the reach of the polls to low- technology users. Text-messaging rates may apply for some customers. Quesons can be formed and implemented in real- me, such as during a service disrupon. Does not allow for in-depth responses from the public. Features User idenficaon Users typically remain anonymous. Visibility of comments Comments are not visible to anyone but the sender and receiver. Dialog Generally the transit agency prompts customers with a queson, the tool aggregates responses, and the agency may respond to the overall results but not to the respondents themselves. Immediacy Designed to allow the agency to monitor and respond to comments in real me when the poll is being conducted. Geography-based Does not typically include geotagging or mapping of comments. Support needed Set-up is required, but can be handled within the department using the tool. Cost Operates on a freemium basis with basic tools available for free, but greater customizaon and funconality on a subscripon basis. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Solicit Comments (Public Opinion Polling); Good-Fit: Solicit Comments (Policy and Planning) Example Tools: PollEverywhere, Texzen Customer Research
Tool Selection Guide 121 Customer Research 3.3 Feedback Panels Descripon: Online panels include pre-profiled and pre-recruited respondents to provide feedback. Typically feedback is solicited through an online survey; however, panel members can be invited to provide comments through almost any online tool, including discussion groups. Uses: Gather feedback on proposed operaÂng policy, fare policy, and service changes; pre-test service ameniÂes, markeÂng and customer informaÂon materials; monitor service quality and customer saÂsfacÂon. Advantages Disadvantages GeÂng feedback is quick, of high quality, and cost effecÂve because the respondents are already idenÂfied and recruited. Respondents are typically interested volunteers not representaÂve of the general ridership or public. The panel can be repeatedly quesÂoned on a topic, allowing for an iteraÂve process that can create a beÂer result, such as tesÂng features for bus stop and shelter design. Panel membership must be managed to remove those who do not parÂcipate in a meaningful way and to recruit new members as people drop out of the panel over Âme. Features User idenÂficaÂon User provides full name and contact informaÂon. Anonymous parÂcipaÂon is typically not allowed due to the nature of the tool. Visibility of comments May be public or private. Individual responses are oen private, but results overall can be made public. Dialog Although not specifically designed to facilitate dialog, many tools will allow a response to the commenters individually or as a group. Immediacy Does not generally provide the ability to monitor or respond in real-Âme. Geography-based Does not typically include geotagging or mapping of comments. Support needed SubstanÂal technical support is required to iniÂally set-up or develop the tool as well as update it over Âme. Cost ApplicaÂon development costs will vary with agency requirements. Notes: ParÂcipants can be recruited through opt-in quesÂons on tradiÂonal agency surveys or through outreach and adverÂsing. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Solicit Comments (Policy and Planning, Public Opinion Polling); Good-Fit: Encourage Civic Engagement (Building Community, EducaÂon) Example Tools: Cint, MARSC, SMARTSUITE, in-house developed panels at NJ Transit, RTD (Denver), TriMet (Portland) and many others
122 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services 4.1 Social Media Dashboards Descripon: Tools used to aggregate and track acvity from mulple social media accounts. Uses: Consolidate tracking, monitoring, and reporng for social media outlets, post to mulple social media accounts at once, and schedule and archive messages. Advantages Disadvantages Consolidates informaon and minimizes redundant acvies to maintain and effecvely manage a variety of social media accounts. Currently does not integrate with other internal feedback tracking systems. Allows agencies to set-up customized searches to monitor social posts and conversaons on specific topics of interest. Typically relies on the API from source social media plaÂorms (e.g., TwiÂer or Facebook), which may change without noce. Features User idenficaon User is idenfiable in the same way as the social media plaÂorm being consolidated in the dashboard through minimal personal informaon, such as a first name, screen name, email address, or TwiÂer handle. Visibility of comments Similar to social media plaorms, most comments are sent publicly, although private messaging is possible. Dialog Facilitates posng on social media sites and responding to comments. Immediacy Designed to allow the agency to monitor and respond to comments in real me, all service hours, via the social media plaorms. Geography-based Dashboards may reference geotagged informaon in social media posts. Support needed Set-up is required, but can be handled within the department using the tool. Cost There is wide variaon in pricing. Some tools are available on a freemium basis. Others are customized for the agency and require an annual subscripon. Notes: Messages received through social media are aggregated here, while messages can also be sent through mulple social media outlets at once. Users can set-up searches on parcular topics to idenfy comments and conversaons throughout the social space. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Manage Feedback (Comment Tracking, Reporng, and Analysis); Good-Fit: None Example Tools: HootSuite, TweetDeck, Sprout Social, Radian6 Feedback Management
Tool Selection Guide 123 4.2 Internal Tracking Descripon: So ware used to log, track, and respond to customer complaints and comments, analyze and report trends. Uses: Tradionally used by CSRs to manage unsolicited comments. Applicaon suites are available that integrate comment tracking systems with other plaÂorms, including social media and email. Systems may also facilitate the creaon of answers to frequently asked quesons. Advantages Disadvantages Provides an effecve system for managing customer feedback received through mulple communicaon channels. New so ware will not necessarily integrate with legacy comment tracking systems. Features User idenficaon Typically users can provide contact informaon or choose to remain anonymous. This may vary depending on the design of the specific applicaon. Visibility of comments Comments are not visible to anyone but the sender and receiver. Dialog Agencies receive comments from customers and are able to respond. Immediacy Ability to respond to customers may be real-me, depending upon the set-up of the tool. Geography-based Does not typically include geotagging or mapping of comments. Support needed Substanal technical support is required to inially set-up or develop the tool as well as update it over me. Cost Applicaon development cost will vary and may be agency-specific depending on the applicaon. Generic versions have pricing plans that vary, but enterprise accounts are typically $100-200 monthly per customer service agent. Notes: Some versions of this tool support customer service cket systems which allow customers and agency staff to track status of comments. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Manage Feedback (Comment Tracking, Reporng, and Analysis); Good-Fit: None Example Tools: GoRequest, Zendesk, Desk.com Feedback Management
124 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services 4.3 Customer Relaonship Management Descripon: Contact management soware with the ability to track user contact informaon, characteriscs, acvity, and comments. Tool is designed to manage informaon about individuals by consolidang history of their contact with the organizaon. Uses: Typically used for contact management, stakeholder engagement, public outreach, email, large scale comment projects, grouping and tracking of comments, event announcements. Advantages Disadvantages Facilitates effecve contact tracking and relaonship management, as well as outreach and informaon distribuon services. Must be used by all pares involved in customer outreach within an agency to be effecve. Enables agencies to follow-up on customer comments and invesgate complaints more effecvely. Requiring users to idenfy themselves could discourage some commenters from providing feedback. Features User idenficaon The tool is designed to collect userâs full name and contact informaon. Visibility of comments Comments are not visible to anyone but the sender and receiver. Dialog Facilitates mass email distribuon, but also allows for one-on-one communicaons between agency staff and their customers. Immediacy Does not generally provide the ability to monitor or respond in real-me. Geography-based Does not typically include geotagging or mapping of comments. Support needed Substanal technical support is required to inially set-up or develop the tool as well as update it over me. Cost Prices vary depending on the size and needs of each organizaon. Needs this tool fulfills: Best-Fit: Manage Feedback (Contact Management); Good-Fit: Manage Feedback (Comment Tracking, Reporng and Analysis) Example Tools: Civi-CRM, eGain Feedback Management
125 References Barron, E., S. Peck, M. Venner, W. Malley (2013). Potential Use of Social Media in the NEPA Process. NCHRP 25-25 Task 80 Final Report, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. Brabham, D. C. (2009). Crowdsourcing the Public Participation Process for Planning Projects. Planning Theory 8(3): 242â262. Bregman, S. (2012). TCRP Synthesis 99: Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. Bregman, S. and K. Watkins (2013). Best Practices for Transportation Agency Use of Social Media, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group. Coffel, K. (2013). TCRP Synthesis 105: Use of Market Research Panels in Transit, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. Collins, C., S. Hasan, and S. Ukkusuri (2013). A Novel Transit Ridersâ Satisfaction Metric: Ridersâ Sentiments Measured from Online Social Media Data, Journal of Public Transportation 16(2). Doan, A., R. Ramakrishnan, and A. Halevy (2011). Crowdsourcing systems on the World-Wide Web. Communi- cations of the ACM 54(4): 86â96. Evans-Cowley, J., and G. Griffin (2012). Microparticipation with Social Media for Community Engagement in Transportation Planning. In Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2307, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. Fine, A., and C. Poe (2010). Current Uses of Web 2.0 Applications in Transportation, Office of Interstate and Border Planning, FHWA, US DOT, http://www.gis.fhwa.dot.gov/documents/web20report/web20report.htm. Giering, S. (2011). TCRP Synthesis 89: Public Participation Strategies for Transit, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. Heipke, C. (2010). Crowdsourcing geospatial data. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 65(6): 550â557. Morrison, S. (2015). Citizens Connect Accidentally Displayed Several Complainantsâ Personal Information. Boston.com 02.27.15, http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2015/02/27/citizens-connect- accidentally-displayed-several-complainants-personal-information/URKlkzOCbknRSm9jJpG4lO/story. html?p1=feature_stack_3_hp. MTA New York City Transit (2014). Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/MTA-New-York-City- Transit/232635164606?sk=info&tab=page_info. Nash, A. (2010). Web 2.0 Applications for Improving Public Participation in Transport Planning. Presented at the 89th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington DC. New York City DOT (2014). The Daily Pothole, http://thedailypothole.tumblr.com/. Pew Research (2014a). Internet User Demographics, http://www.pewinternet.org/data-trend/internet-use/ latest-stats/. Pew Research (2014b). Cell Phone and Smartphone Ownership Demographics, http://www.pewinternet.org/ data-trend/mobile/cell-phone-and-smartphone-ownership-demographics/. Rowe, G. and L. J. Frewer (2000). Public Participation Methods: A Framework for Evaluation. Science, Technology & Human Values 25(1): 3â29. Schaller, B. (2002). TCRP Synthesis 43: Effective Use of Transit Websites, TRB, National Research Council, Wash- ington, DC. Schweiger, C. L. (2006). TCRP Synthesis 68: Methods of Rider Communication, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. Schweitzer, L. (2012). How Are We Doing? Opinion Mining Customer Sentiment in US Transit Agencies and Airlines via Twitter. Presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington DC.
126 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Spitz, G., F. Niles, and T. Adler (2006). TCRP Synthesis 69: Web-Based Survey Techniques, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. Spitz, G., J. Pepper, V. Chakravarti, T. Adler, and F. Niles (2004). Using a Web-Based Longitudinal Panel To Mea- sure Customer Satisfaction. In Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 1887, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. Texas Transportation Institute and Nustats International (1999). TCRP Report 45: Passenger Information Services: A Guidebook for Transit Systems, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. Waite, J. (2010). TCRP Legal Research Digest 32: Reconciling Security, Disclosure, and Record-Retention Require- ments in Transit Procurements, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. Washington State Archives (2012). Transit Records Retention Schedule, Version 1.0, http://www.sos.wa.gov/ _assets/archives/RecordsManagement/Transit-Authorities-1.0.pdf. Zickuhr, K. and A. Smith (2012). Digital Differences. Pew Internet & American Life Project, Pew Research Center, Washington, DC.
A-1 Sample Customer Comment Categories As customer feedback is increasingly submitted via online platforms, there is an opportunity to streamline and improve the process of organizing and directing comments that are received. At the same time, consistency between online feedback paths and the comment codes that are used for organizing feedback received by phone and other conventional means can help simplify the process of aggregating comments from multiple feedback channels. Agencies have taken various approaches to their online comment organization, a few examples of which are outlined below. TriMet: Legacy System and Online Comment Codes TriMet has a legacy customer comment system used by the customer service representa- tives to log and track comments received by telephone, email, and other traditional sources. In addition to tracking comments from the public, TriMet has categories to log and track comments from operators and field personnel, previously handled as a paper-only reporting system. Because categorization of the comments is done by staff, there are over 250 detailed comment codes, organized around urgency of response and the responsible department. The comment categories and codes used for the legacy comment tracking system are summarized in Table A-1. When TriMet introduced the option of providing feedback through forms on their website, the comment categories needed to reflect the customerâs viewpoint. Staff members still manually enter the data into the legacy system. The categories used on the forms provide screening of the comments, facilitating coding and response by staff. It was important to ensure that the codes for the forms could easily be funneled to the correct department, and could integrate with the legacy system. TriMetâs website offers visitors four main topics for feedback: â¢ Question, comment, or suggestion: This form is for non-urgent questions, comments and suggestions. Additional comment categories are offered to provide additional categorization of the feedback. â¢ Employee commendation or complaint: This form is to submit a commendation or com- plaint about a TriMet employee. â¢ Lost and found: This form is not for providing feedback, but does provide the ability to report lost items and contact information in case the item is found. â¢ TransitTracker problem: This form is used to report a problem or submit a suggestion about the real-time vehicle arrival information system. The form provides a comment box to describe the issue, and collects information in order to respond to the comment. No comment categories are used on the form. A P P E N D I X A
A-2 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Category Code Code Descripon Commendaons 1 Employee Commendaons High Priority Response 2 Immediate Acon: Typically employee misconduct that warrants immediate acon, but not necessarily in the field 3 Direct Access: Address immediately, in the field, such as operator unsafe driving, offensive graffi, biohazards 4 Priority Codes: Primarily ADA, transit equity, and safety issues 5 Non-Immediate: Less immediate in nature, e.g. personal or driving behavior Agency Support 20 Commendaons for TriMet: Not employee related In-Service Issues 23 Overloads 24 Security Issues 25 Vehicle Issues 26 Automated Stop Announcements Paratransit Service 30 Paratransit Services 31 Paratransit Customer Issues 32 Alternate Accessible Service 35 Customer Feedback: Paratransit customers Policy, Planning, Facilies 40 Fare System 41 Operang Policies & Procedures 42 Route Design 43 Boarding Points: Bus stops and rail staons, including equipment, amenies 44 Special Programs: Bicycles, concessions, lost and found, no smoking policy 45 Safety Suggesons/Issues Witnesses 46 Witness Comments Customer Informaon 60 Printed Customer Informaon 61 On Street Informaon 62 Signage 63 Adversing 64 Info & Sales-Adversing and Promoon 65 Online Customer Informaon Operator / Field Operaons Comments 70 Operator Reports - In service issues 71 Field Operaons Issues 72 Operators - Chronic Fare Evasion 73 Operators - Security 74 Request Safety Assessment Public Comments 80 Comments - TriMet Plans/Goals 82 Comments - New Iniaves: Commuter rail and transit mall construcon 83 Responses to Media Stories 84 Comments re: Research/Surveys Table A-1. TriMet internal customer comment codes.
Sample Customer Comment Categories A-3 âLost and foundâ and âtransit tracker problemsâ both have specific codes in the legacy system; therefore TriMet does not offer any additional options on the form to further categorize these issues. âQuestions, comments, or suggestionsâ and âemployee commendation or complaintâ have many possible codes in the legacy system; therefore, additional categorization of the issue is provided within the online forms. The first two categories offer more specific sub-categories for customer feedback. If âEmployee commendation or complaintâ is selected, they are asked to select whether it is a commendation or complaint. A text box is provided for writing in the comment, and infor- mation is collected to be able to respond to the comment. No additional comment categories are used on the form. When âquestion, comment, or suggestionâ is selected, the commenter is asked to select whether it is a comment about: safety or security; a specific incident or event; or schedules, routes, or fre- quency of service. Safety and security issues are flagged as priorities so that they can be handled quickly by staff. âSpecific incident or eventâ issues are also flagged as important, but of lower priority. These two categories do not have additional screening codes on the forms. If a customer indicates that they have a comment related to the third sub-category, âsched- ules, routes, or frequency of service,â an additional dropdown menu provides a list of specific concerns to choose from (more than one may be selected). The sub-categories help to ensure staff understanding of the problem, as well as help with pre-coding the response. The specific concerns in this list are: â¢ Change in routing â¢ Hours of operation â¢ Discontinuation of line â¢ General need for service â¢ Crowding on vehicle â¢ Late arrivals â¢ Increased wait times â¢ Problems making transfer â¢ Safety at the stop â¢ Transit equity â¢ Other concern/suggestion The sub-categories of concerns were chosen based on the most common issues received by the agency. Customer service staff members read the comments and enter the information into the legacy system, providing the appropriate detailed internal comment code. See Figure A-1. The current online forms, while user-friendly in terms of categorizing the type of comment, do not seamlessly integrate with the internal comment tracking system. The forms arrive as emails and are read, coded, and manually entered into the system by customer service staff. Table A-2 shows how comments through the websiteâs online forms relate to the internal com- ment codes. As TriMet considers migrating to a more robust customer feedback tracking sys- tem, emphasis will be placed on ensuring that the comment codes can be used across multiple feedback channels. DCTA: Fully Integrated Feedback System DCTA is a small agency in Texas that set up their integrated customer feedback management system to accommodate online customer feedback. They procured a system that fully integrated comments received from their online web form, the mobile app, and comments entered by
A-4 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Figure A-1. TriMet website feedback prompts for âQuestion, comment, or suggestionâ page.
Sample Customer Comment Categories A-5 employees and customer service staff. Customers may visit the DCTA website on their smart- phones to download the GORequest mobile application or they may submit a comment on the same web page through their smartphone or computer. Figure A-2 shows a screenshot of the DCTA GORequest web page. Online comments can be given in the form of questions, compliments, complaints or sug- gestions. Users of the online comment form must also select from a list of topics provided in the dropdown menu. Table A-3 provides the categories used in their system, which is consistent across the apps and online form. The GORequest app shown in Figure A-3 is available for iPhone and Android systems, and can be downloaded for free. This app is not specific to any one government agency, but rather uses location data to refer comments to the appropriate government agencies. How- ever, agencies can customize the look of their GORequest application to make it appear more official and locally specific, as the DCTA has done. Users can submit new issues and track previously submitted issues through this tool, just as with the online form but with added functionality, like GPS. MBTA: Online Coding MBTA provides two customer feedback forms on their website, one for âInquiry, Comments or Concernsâ and one that is a âCleanliness Complaint Form.â TriMet Online Path Internal Comment Codes 1st Level Menu 2nd Level Menu 3rd Level Menu Internal Coding System Queson, Comment or Suggesons Safety or security? (No sub-categories) Staff codes based on urgency of the comment Specific incident or event? (No sub-categories) Staff codes based on the context and urgency of the comment Schedules, routes or frequency of service? Change in roung Policy, Planning, Facilies, 42-Route Design Hours of operaon Policy, Planning, Facilies, 42-Route Design Disconnuaon of line Policy, Planning, Facilies, 42-Route Design General need for service Policy, Planning, Facilies, 42-Route Design Crowding on vehicle In-Service Issues, 23-Overloads Late arrivals High Priority Response, 5-Non- immediate, Service Delivery Increased wait mes Policy, Planning, Facilies, 42-Route Design Problems making transfer Policy, Planning, Facilies, 42-Route Design Safety at the stop Staff codes based on urgency of the comment Transit equity High Priority Response, 4-Priority Codes Other concern/ suggeson Staff codes as appropriate Table A-2. TriMet online paths and corresponding comment codes.
A-6 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Figure A-2. DCTA web page for downloading GORequest or submitting a comment online. The main form, shown in Figure A-4, takes advantage of the ability to have comments coded through the online form by providing four main categories. When one of the four types of feed- back is selected, a second menu appears providing topic sub-categories for that type of feedback, as shown in Figure A-5. The âCleanliness Complaint Formâ is specific to improving substation cleaning. It provides a menu to categorize the type of problem: â¢ Graffiti â¢ Foul Odor â¢ Lights Burned Out â¢ Overflowing Trash Barrels â¢ Litter on Floors/Stairs â¢ Dirty Floors/Stairs
Sample Customer Comment Categories A-7 Topic Department Assigned To No fy of New Requests Days to Close Rule FAQ Request Type Ac ve ID Updated A-train Gates / Signals Transportation 10 No Yes Citizen Yes 25716 10/7/2013 Accident / Safety / Security TransportaÂon 6 Yes No CiÂzen Yes 19330 5/22/2012 Customer Service Information Transportation 10 Yes No Citizen Yes 20027 10/7/2013 Driver Conduct Transportation 10 Yes No Citizen Yes 19326 10/7/2013 Driving Skills TransportaÂon 6 Yes No CiÂzen Yes 19328 10/7/2013 Improper Stop TransportaÂon 6 Yes No CiÂzen No 19329 10/1/2013 Lost and Found TransportaÂon 10 No No CiÂzen Yes 19947 12/4/2013 On Time Performance Transportation 6 Yes No CiÂzen Yes 19325 10/7/2013 Passenger Behavior TransportaÂon 6 Yes No CiÂzen No 19327 10/1/2013 Passenger Information Layout & Content Transportation 6 Yes No CiÂzen Yes 19333 10/1/2013 Rail Safety TransportaÂon 6 No No Citizen Yes 19774 5/22/2012 RegulaÂons Transportation 6 No No Internal Yes 19332 10/7/2013 Route and Schedule Information Transportation 10 No No CiÂzen Yes 20090 10/1/2013 Service Request TransportaÂon 10 No No CiÂzen Yes 25835 10/7/2013 Stations / Shelters / Bus Stops Transportation 6 Yes No CiÂzen Yes 19331 10/7/2013 Survey Transportation 6 No No Internal Yes 20665 10/1/2013 Ticket or Ticket Vending Machine Issue Transportation 10 Yes No Citizen Yes 25715 10/7/2013 UNT Shuttle Transportation 10 No No CiÂzen Yes 25836 10/7/2013 Vehicle Maintenance Transportation 6 Yes No CiÂzen No 19324 10/1/2013 Other Transportation 10 No No CiÂzen Yes 19624 10/1/2013 Table A-3. DCTA customer feedback comment codes. Figure A-3. Advertisement for DCTAâs GORequest application.
A-8 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Figure A-4. MBTA online customer comment form.
A-10 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Figure A-6. Los Angeles Metro customer comment/complaint form.
B-1 Glossary Audio tracks for video Voice commentary that can be used to help convey video visual messages to the blind. Automated response A message sent automatically in response to a comment or other feedback received online. These messages are general, often simply acknowledging receipt of a comment or feed- back form, indicating a timeframe for further follow-up and other relevant information. Backend system Processing systems that are not visible or accessible to the public, but rather used by certain agency staff people to manage internal tracking of work orders, inventory, performance, and the like. Call center A collection of agency representatives tasked with serving as an over-the-phone resource for customers with questions, issues, and comments. In the past, call centers have been physical loca- tions where representatives work, but some companies have begun using distributed call centers, where representatives may be at geographically diverse locations but all accessible through the same customer support line. Choice riders Transit riders who have viable alternatives to transit, such as a personal vehicle, but who choose to ride transit anyway. Commendations/ Feedback that is generally positive toward a transit service, Compliments employee, or other aspect of the agency. Complaints Feedback that is generally negative toward a transit service, employee, or other aspect of the agency. Crowdsourcing Engaging various individuals, typically online, to collect ideas and resources for some purpose. Crowdsourcing is an increasingly popular way for agencies to tap into their ridersâ knowledge and experience to help identify and solve prob- lems, and inform decision-making processes. Customer information Includes real-time information, service alerts, schedules, way-finding, and other one-way communications from a transit agency to their customers. Customer service Includes ticket sales, trip planning services, safety monitor- ing, and other efforts to serve transit users. Customer feed- back can enhance, but not replace such services. A P P E N D I X B
B-2 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Descriptions for video According to the American Foundation for the Blind, video description makes television shows and movies accessible for people who are visually impaired. Short verbal descriptions of action or key visual scenes in a program are inserted during pauses in dialogue to add context. Email form A form on a website used to automatically email an agency or organization. Feedback panel A survey conducted by phone, mail, or Internet, which orga- nizations use to solicit feedback on their products and services from customers and other members of the public. Filter A function of many online and computer-based systems to identify and extract data from a larger data pool based on specified criteria. Handle (@_________) A handle, always preceded by the @ symbol, is equivalent to a username on many social media systems. Handles are used to include other users in a post, or to reply back to the originator of a previous post. Hashtag (#_________) A word or phrase with the # symbol immediately preceding it, used to tag social media and blog posts for grouping, track- ing, and search purposes. Interface The design and functionality of a system that facilitates and enables interaction with users. Issue tracking Refers to the system used by an agency to track issues raised by customers, from receipt, through various processes, until res- olution is achieved, and perhaps also through post-resolution follow-up. Long-range and Planning that considers the operations and capital expenditures capital planning beyond the immediate next few years. Maintenance issues Focus on maintaining the day-to-day operations of a transit agency at or above some expected level of service. Mainte- nance issues may include broken or malfunctioning equip- ment, as well as graffiti and other appearance issues. Market research Involves planning, designing, and implementing research, as well as analyzing collected data and reporting results for the purpose of better understanding consumersâ preferences for products and services. Marketing and promotions Include advertising for the agency, a service or a route, and promotional programs. Means of access The method used by an individual to get to a bus, train, or other transit service vehicle. Typically access is achieved through walking, but driving, biking, and other modes of travel can also be used. Mobile applications (apps) Software programs written for use on mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.
Glossary B-3 Non-rider surveys Surveys of the members of the public who do not regularly ride transit. On-board/rider/ Surveys of transit users, which are conducted while customers customer surveys are riding transit vehicles in the case of on-board surveys. Online form Form hosted online to gather structured feedback on one or more topics, which is generally shorter and more open-ended than an online survey. Online surveys Surveys hosted online to solicit structured responses from a target audience based on the principles of market research. Platform For computing, a platform is the environment in which a software program is designed to operate. Policy changes Changes to the rules and regulations of a transit agency, such as fare policies, service standards, and rider rules, which may or may not affect customers directly. Public relations Defined by the American Marketing Association as, âThat form of communication management that seeks to make use of publicity and other nonpaid forms of promotion and information to influence the feelings, opinions, or beliefs about the company, its products or services, or about the value of the product or service or the activities of the organization to buyers, prospects, or other stakeholders.â Quick Response (QR) code Symbols containing coded data that, when read by an appro- priate device, will direct the user to a website or perform another function. Though they were originally designed for use in the automobile industry, QR codes are becoming increasingly popular for marketing purposes and facilitating online customer interactions. Response time The length of time between when feedback is received and when the agency responds beyond the basic automated response. A response means that the agency gives the pro- vider of the feedback an answer to their questions and/or information about how their input has been used. Response time may refer to the length of time it took to send an initial non-automated response, perhaps with follow-up questions, or to the length of time between receipt of feedback and final issue resolution. Safety and security issues Issues including safety of particular stops, stations, bus or rail routes, lost and stolen reports, and suspicious people around agency property. Agencies can use this information to know where to increase security patrols to reduce crime on their systems and help their riders feel safe. Screen reader Software program that attempts to explain what is being dis- played on a screen for the visually impaired. Sentiment analysis/ Analyzing communications to gauge public perception, also monitoring known as opinion mining.
B-4 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Service planning Service planning includes short- to medium-term planning for both regular fixed-route services and demand response services for people with disabilities. Feedback on service plan- ning helps agencies identify areas for improvement in terms of service frequency, geographic coverage, and service hours. Social media Online communication tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, used for social interaction among individuals and organizations around the world. Software hosting platform Website that allows the hosting of software source code, and often allows users to provide comments with discussion threads (e.g., Github). Solicited feedback Initiated by the agency to address specific needs or issues. Sources of solicited feedback include comments collected with regard to service and fare changes, customer satisfaction, or project planning, which become part of the public record. Solicited feedback can also include questions posed on any topic using a wide variety of conventional and technology- driven tools, including web-based and panel surveys that do not have the rigor of true market research and the newly popular technique of crowdsourcing. Support ticket A support ticket may be a document, number, or code assigned to an issue, which is used for tracking purposes by an agency and/or the individual who made the claim. System integration The process of joining multiple smaller systems together to operate effectively as one larger system. Tag Generally, a tag is used to associate a post with certain key words, for organization and search purposes. âTagâ can also be used to refer to specific actions through one or more web- based platforms. Third party service A service that is offered by a third party contractor on behalf of an agency. Title VI (including limited Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it contrary to English proficiency) federal policy for agencies receiving federal funds to discrimi- nate against groups or individuals based on their race, skin color, or national origin. Agencies violating Title VI may lose their federal funding. Tracking number A combination of numbers, letters, and/or symbols used for tracking issues within an agency. Traditional media Traditional media in this report refers to the printed press, television, radio, and phone, which were the primary forms of communication before the rise of the Internet. Transit service operations Detail anything related to the agencyâs daily services, includ- ing late or early buses, crowding, temperature on the vehicle, or customer information needs. Feedback on these topics can help agencies address short-term problems, such as on-time
Glossary B-5 performance issues, where additional capacity is needed, or where additional customer amenities are needed. Unsolicited feedback Comments, suggestions, and complaints that flow into the agency without being directly requested by agency staff. Web-based customer feedback Comments shared online by customers about the quality of a service or product, through one or more of a variety of web-based platforms. Work order systems Collections of technologies and processes used for generating, tracking, and resolving issues through work orders. Tasks are identified, entered into the system for proper assignment to agency staff, and eventually marked as resolved after comple- tion of the task.
C-1 Transit Agency Survey An online survey of transit agencies was conducted to understand which agencies are using web-based tools for customer feedback, how those tools are used, and the results that agencies have seen from their use. The survey invitation was distributed via email to transit agencies on the APTA Marketing and Communications Committee list. The research team supplemented the APTA list with sev- eral small and medium-size agencies identified through the National Transit Database (NTD) to obtain better representation from small and rural operators. These agencies were all tracked for response, and email and phone follow-ups were pursued to obtain a high response rate. In addition, participation was solicited via email news blasts, popular transit blogs, social media, and emails to transportation organizations in the United States and abroad. Transit organiza- tions were asked to respond to the survey regardless of whether they had an online web-based feedback tool or not. Summary A total of 130 agencies responded to the survey, representing agencies and urban areas of all sizes, all modes of transit, and all geographic areas of the United States plus Canada. The data was analyzed by both size of agency (based on annual unlinked trips) and population of urbanized area (UZA). Because the UZA results tracked closely to the results by size of agency, compari- sons between UZA and agency size are provided only where there is a meaningful difference in response. Otherwise results are provided by agency size. Email and Social Media are the Most Used Tools Today â¢ Email is used by almost all agencies (92%). Most of those who say they do not use email as a form of web-based feedback use other simple tools, such as online feedback forms. Those that arenât using any form of web-based feedback are small agencies (based on annual unlinked trips). The other commonly used tools are social media (78%), online surveys (68%), and online forms (65%). No other tools are used by more than 15% of the agencies responding. Social Media, Online Surveys will Remain Key Tools; Mobile Apps Will Grow â¢ Social media is expected to continue to be an important customer feedback tool; 5% of the agencies not currently using social media stated they would âstart usingâ it within the next five years, and 77% of the agencies stated they would use it more. Online survey use is also expected to increase, with 8% of the agencies anticipating that they will âstart usingâ this tool, A P P E N D I X C
C-2 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services and 70% stating they will use it more. Mobile applications are not used by many agencies now, but 22% will âstart usingâ them in the next five years. Agencies See the Benefits of Web-Based Customer Feedback Tools â¢ Agencies are very positive about using web-based customer feedback tools, with the pri- mary benefit being an increased ability for customers to provide positive feedback (selected by 91% of the respondents). The next most commonly selected benefits were that web- based tools enhance the agencyâs image and are a cost-effective method of collecting feed- back (83% and 81%, respectively). Only one benefit was selected by less than half of the respondents, that web-based feedback âimproves the ability of special populations to pro- vide feedbackâ (46%). Staffing Needs are the Only Major Drawback to Web-Based Feedback Tools â¢ There was only one drawback to web-based customer feedback selected by more than half of the agencies, the âlack of staff to respond in a timely mannerâ (64%). This issue was also raised when agencies were asked to describe their ideal system and to provide any âlessons learnedâ that would help other agencies. The next two most cited challenges were that ânegative feed- back could affect the agency imageâ (38%) and that it is âdifficult to comply with archiving, record keeping, and other requirements.â â¢ When asked what the barriers are to adding web-based feedback tools, over half (57%) selected the response âlack of staff resources to develop, implement and maintain web-based tools.â The next highest category was ânothingâwe do not have any barriers.â Rider Access to the Internet and Smartphone Ownership Varies by Size of Agency â¢ Among the 75% of respondents who reported that they had knowledge about Internet access and smartphone ownership, large and medium size agencies were more likely to respond that a high percentage of their riders have access to the Internet. Among small agencies, 13% percent estimated that 20% or less of their ridership has access to the Inter- net, while no large or medium sized agencies reported a similarly low rate of Internet access for their riders. â¢ Additionally, 19% of the small agencies estimated that 20% or less of their ridership has a smartphone. Only 6% of medium agencies and none of the large agencies estimated that less than 20% of their ridership has a smartphone. Access for Special Populations â¢ Agencies did not appear to believe that web-based tools provided a particular benefit to special populations. Under the benefits of web-based customer feedback, the statement that was least likely to be selected was âimproves ability of special populations to provide feedbackâ; 46% of all agencies and only 35% of small agencies selected that response. â¢ Formatting their website to support screen readers was the most commonly selected method of improving access for special populations, such as the elderly, disabled, and those that have limited English proficiency (57% of agencies). Site translators and varied text size were used by 47% and 45% of the agencies, respectively. Many websites and tools have ADA supportive features built into their programming, so it is possible that agencies are not aware of these features or did not consider them as âspecial features.â
Transit Agency Survey C-3 No Single Organizational Model for Handling Web-Based Feedback Emerged â¢ When looking at what department has primary responsibility for initiating, implementing, and monitoring web-based feedback tools, 45% of the agencies allocated responsibility to the various relevant departments, 31% of the agencies created a specific department to be responsible for web-based feedback, and 15% stated that each department is responsible for its own web-based feedback. â¢ A variety of organizational approaches was also seen in how agencies incorporated web-based feedback into agency operations and planning. The top three responses were that specific staff from throughout the agency are assigned to each web-based tool and respond or forward comments, as appropriate (30%); comments are directed to the customer service department and treated the same as any other feedback (26%); and the department that created the tool handles the feedback (25%). Agencies Integrate Web-Based Customer Feedback into Existing Reporting Systems â¢ Web-based customer feedback is incorporated into existing customer feedback systems for 64% of the agencies, while 11% have a separate monitoring and reporting system for web- based feedback. Responses to the question to describe their âideal web-based customer feed- back systemâ emphasized the desire to integrate customer feedback to avoid duplication of effort, where comments from the web-based feedback systems must be manually input into the existing feedback system. Most Agencies Have Customer Feedback Performance Measures â¢ Customer feedback measures are included in most agenciesâ performance measurement reporting (70% of agencies), with 11% responding that while they have regular performance reporting, customer feedback measures are not part of the system. The survey did not distin- guish between web-based and other channels for feedback in terms of performance reporting. The âIdeal Systemâ Would be Integrated, Automated, and Friendly â¢ Integration is a key theme in designing the ideal web-based customer feedback system. Agen- cies expressed a desire for internal integration with existing customer feedback systems and external integration in the form of accepting comments across technology platforms (e.g., social media, applications, smartphone, email, and telephone). â¢ The ideal system would also be automated, such as categorizing comments and forwarding them to the appropriate person for response; and user-friendly for both staff and the public. Planning for Digital Feedback and Timely, Honest Responses are Key Lessons Learned â¢ The key piece of advice for transit agencies developing a customer information system is to develop a plan for web-based customer feedback, working with all of the agency constituents, and pulling in the information technology department early in the planning. Part of the plan- ning is to ensure that policies are in place for handling web-based customer feedback. â¢ Recognizing that staff resources need to provide timely, honest responses is critical to main- taining the image of the agency. Understanding staffing limitations and communicating the response time expectations to customers helps maintain good customer relations.
C-4 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Detailed Survey Results Agency Overview Overall, 144 transportation providers in the United States and Canada were directly invited to participate in the online survey. Surveys were received from 117 of these transit operators, a response rate of 81%. An additional 13 agencies responded based on the blog posts, social media outreach, and emails sent on behalf of the research team to listservs. All 130 responding agen- cies were included in the survey analysis. Respondents represented transit agencies from 38 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and one Canadian province. The agencies were categorized two ways: by annual unlinked trips and by the size of urban- ized or metropolitan area in which they are located (UZA). First, agencies were classified as large, medium, or small based on their total number of unlinked trips for the most recent year as reported in the NTD. This classification resulted in 37 large agencies (29%) that carry more than 20 million annual unlinked trips, 50 medium agencies (38%) that carry between 200,000 and 500,000 annual unlinked trips, and 43 small agencies (33%) that carry fewer than 200,000 annual unlinked trips (see Table C-1). See Figure C-1 for a map of transit agen- cies by size. Second, agencies were classified by the size of the urbanized area they served, regardless of annual unlinked trips. Large metropolitan areas often have multiple transit providers, character- ized by one or more large regional transit agencies that are supplemented by smaller agencies that target local markets. Although these small agencies are separate entities from the larger agencies serving the same urbanized area, they may coordinate with their regional partners for customer information and may use the same tools for interacting with customers. To see if there were differences in use of web-based feedback based on size of the urbanized area (e.g., are city residents more likely to use technology than their rural counterparts?), the analysis included a comparison of responses by UZA size. Of the 130 collected surveys, 76 agencies (59%) were located in large UZAs, defined as urbanized areas with a population of 500,000 or more, 14 agen- cies (11%) were in medium UZAs (population 200,000â500,000) and 40 (30%) agencies were in small UZAs (population less than 200,000). (See Table C-2.) A map of transit agencies based on size of UZA is provided in Figure C-2. Survey results cover agencies that operate all modes of transit service. Almost all of the agen- cies responding to the survey (97%) operate fixed bus service. Heavy rail service is operated by 14% of the respondents, commuter rail service is operated by 8% of the agencies, and 7% of the agencies responding operate light rail service. Trolleys and ferries are operated by three agencies, with cable cars and automated guideway systems operated by one agency each. Tools for Obtaining Feedback The survey conducted for this study first asked respondents which web-based feedback tools they use, with multiple answers being acceptable. The tools were defined as follows: â¢ EmailâCustomers send email to the agency directly or via link on website. This does not include email blasts or other email communications that originate with the agency. â¢ Online SurveysâAn agency posts a questionnaire or a survey on its website or other online location for users to complete. Topics may include customer satisfaction, service alternatives, or other agency questions. â¢ Online FormsâUsers can submit questions and comments to an agency typically through a webpage. Forms may be open-ended or include drop-down menus or other options for users to structure their feedback.
Transit Agency Survey C-5 Total Unlinked Trips Example City TotalRespondents Large Agency >20,000,000 Portland, Oregon â TriMet 37 Medium Agency 2,000,000<x<20,000,000 Columbia, Missouri â Columbia Transit 50 Small Agency <2,000,000 Grand Rapids, North Dakota âCiÂes Area Transit 43 Table C-1. Definitions of large, medium, and small agencies based on annual unlinked trips. Figure C-1. Locations of survey respondents by agency size, based on annual unlinked trips.
C-6 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Populaon Example City Total Respondents Large Urbanized Area >500,000 San Francisco, California â BART 76 Medium Urbanized Area 200,000<x<500,000 Ann Arbor, Michigan â Ann Arbor TransportaÂon Authority 14 Small Urbanized Area <200,000 Corvallis, Oregon â City of Corvallis Transit 40 Table C-2. Definitions of large, medium, and small urbanized areas.1 Figure C-2. Locations of survey respondents by size of urbanized area. 1 The definitions are adapted from the National Transit Database by the Federal Transit Administration (http://www.ntd program.gov/ntdprogram/pubs/ARM/2012/pdf/2012_Basic_Information_Module.pdf)
Transit Agency Survey C-7 â¢ Online Feedback PanelsâAgencies sponsor groups that are asked to comment about specific topics or respond to surveys. Groups are typically invitation-only and interact with the agency through a website or other online interface. â¢ Social MediaâUsers communicate with an agency through social media channels, such as the agencyâs Facebook page, Twitter account, or official blog. â¢ CrowdsourcingâAgencies host online conversations where users can submit suggestions, offer comments, and vote on their favorite idea. Agencies typically use third-party platforms such as SeeClickFix, IdeaScale, MindMixer, etc. â¢ Internet ForumsâUsers participate in online discussion sites where they can hold conver- sations in the form of posted messages, e.g., NYCtransitforums.com, transittalk.proboards. com. These are also known as online communities, bulletin boards, or message boards. â¢ Mobile FeedbackâUsers submit feedback or information to an agency using an application on a smartphone. Examples include mobile applications like See Say where customers can alert agencies to safety and security issues. Among the 130 agencies answering this question, email was the most prevalent web-based feedback tool. Email is used by 92% of the agencies that responded. Of the 11 agencies that stated they do not use email, six use other web-based feedback, such as online forms. The remaining five agencies stated they do not use any form of web-based feedback. Social media, online surveys, and online forms were the next most prevalent with 77%, 68%, and 65% respectively. The remaining categories (online feedback panels, crowdsourcing, Internet forums, and mobile feedback) all saw less than 15% usage by transit agencies for collecting web-based feedback (see Figure C-3). The frequent response of agencies using email and social media is not unexpected; these tools have been around for a number of years and have been adopted by the general population. Usage of web-based feedback tools was analyzed by size of agency and size of UZA in which the agency is located. The results can be seen in Table C-3 and Table C-4, with graphic compari- sons available in Figure C-4 and Figure C-5. Large and medium agencies use web-based tools more frequently than small agencies. All respondents from large and medium agencies indicated that they use at least one form of web- based tools. On the contrary, 12% of the respondents from small agencies indicated that they do not employ any form of web-based tools. When broken out by web-based tool types, a much larger share of large and medium agencies responded that they use social media, online surveys, Figure C-3. âWhich of the following web-based customer feedback tools does your agency currently employ?â
C-8 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Respondents Email Social Media Online Surveys Online Forms Online Panels Mobile Feedback Internet Forums Crowd- sourcing None Large UZA 76 92% 82% 82% 84% 21% 18% 9% 7% 1% Medium UZA 14 92% 78% 57% 50% 0% 14% 7% 7% 7% Small UZA 40 90% 68% 48% 35% 8% 5% 15% 5% 7% Table C-4. Percentage of agencies using different web-based tools by size of UZA. Respondents Email Social Media Online Surveys Online Forms Online Panels Mobile Feedback Internet Forums Crowd- sourcing None Large Agency 37 89% 86% 84% 86% 27% 35% 14% 14% 0% Medium Agency 50 98% 88% 82% 74% 14% 6% 8% 4% 0% Small Agency 43 86% 58% 40% 37% 5% 5% 12% 2% 12% Table C-3. Percentage of agencies using different web-based tools by size of agency. Figure C-4. Web-based tools used by agencies by size of agency.
Transit Agency Survey C-9 and online forms, compared to their smaller counterparts. A higher percentage of large agency respondents indicated that they use mobile feedback and crowdsourcing than medium and small agency respondents. When compared by size of UZA, the trends in the responses are similar with subtle differences. For example, the differences in use of social media and crowdsourcing are not as stark when compared by size of UZA as when compared by agency size. Third-Party Media and Mobile Apps To understand what other applications agencies are using or are in the process of developing, the 26 survey respondents who selected crowdsourcing and mobile feedback were asked âWhat specific mobile applications or third party media tools does your agency use to obtain feedback?â with a space to list the tools they use. Among them, 13 survey respondents listed individual applications or tools their agencies used to obtain feedback. Some tools were used by multiple agencies: two agencies reported using iWatch, a mobile application for reporting crimes or sus- picious activities, and three respondents reported using Survey Monkey, an online survey tool. Several of the third-party applications in use were not specifically designed for transit agencies, but could be used for multiple purposes. For example, iWatch allows users to report suspicious people, criminal activities or other events on an interactive Google map and is not targeted to transit riders. Several agencies reported using feedback tools that they developed themselves. The agencies that developed their own applications and mobile pages tended to be large agencies located in large urban areas. Solicited Versus Unsolicited Feedback Survey respondents were provided the following definitions of solicited and unsolicited feed- back as background to the next set of questions: This survey is looking at two types of web-based feedback that an agency may receive: unsolicited and so- licited. Unsolicited feedback does not respond to specific agency questions and includes all the comments, Figure C-5. Web-based tools used by agencies by size of urbanized area.
C-10 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services suggestions, complaints, and opinions that flow into the agency on a daily basis. Solicited feedback is structured by the agency that asks riders and the public to provide comment on specific topics of interest to the agency, such as service or fare changes, service quality or customer satisfaction. Survey respondents were asked what categories of unsolicited feedback their agency currently receives from its rider base. Of the 117 responses provided, 100% received unsolicited feed- back in the form of âcomplaints and commendations,â with another 97% receiving unsolicited feedback regarding their âtransit service operations.â âLong-range and capital planningâ saw the least amount of unsolicited feedback, with only 44% of respondents reporting unsolicited feedback in this area. Respondents were then asked to identify what categories of feedback their agency actively solicits from its rider base. âService planningâ was the most common category with 84% of respondents reporting that they solicit service planning feedback from their riders; another 75% reported solic- iting âtransit service operationsâ feedback from their riders. âBudgeting and faresâ was identified by 62% of the agencies as a category for soliciting customer feedback, and 59% of the responding agencies actively solicited âcomplaints and commendations.â Only 7% responded that they didnât solicit any information from their riders (see Figure C-6). It is interesting to note that the third and fourth most common categories for unsolicited feedback, âsafety and securityâ issues and âmaintenanceâ issues, are the least common categories for soliciting feedback. Transit agencies were asked to identify which web-based tools they use to solicit customer feedback, by category of feedback. Regardless of what information is solicited, the majority of respondents use email, online surveys, online forms, and social media as primary tools (see Figure C-7). The remaining web-based tools were generally used by less than 10% of the agen- cies to solicit information from the public. The usage trends broken out by feedback categories are similar across the nine categories, and closely mirror the overall usage trend as depicted in Figure C-3. Figure C-6. âWhat categories of unsolicited and solicited feedback does your agency currently receive from its rider base?â
Transit Agency Survey C-11 Administration of Web-Based Customer Feedback Handling Customer Feedback Agencies were asked âWhat department in your agency has primary responsibility for initiat- ing, implementing, and monitoring web-based customer feedback tools?â For 45% of the agen- cies, responsibilities are â. . . allocated to the relevant departments, (Public Relations initiates, IT implements technology, customer service monitors, etc.)â while 31% of the agencies responded that a âspecific department was responsible for web-based customer feedbackâ (see Figure C-8). Only 15% of the agencies responded that âeach department develops and implements their own web-based feedback tools.â Most agencies who responded âotherâ listed a specific department, typically marketing or communications. Figure C-7. âWhat web-based tools do you use to solicit customer feedback, by topic area?â
C-12 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services When asked âhow is information from web-based customer feedback incorporated into agency operations and planning,â agencies were evenly divided: 30% selected âSpecific staff from throughout the agency are assigned to each web-based tool and respond or forward comments, as appropriateâ; 26% of the responding agencies reported that comments are directed to the cus- tomer service department and treated the same as any other feedback; and 25% of the agencies assigned the department that created the tool to handle the customer web-based feedback. Only 6% of the responding agencies created a âspecial department specifically to develop, monitor, address, and handle feedbackâ (see Figure C-9). There are differences in the way that information is incorporated into the feedback system based on the size of the agency. For large agencies, no single method stands out for incorporating feedback. Medium agencies are more likely to route comments to the customer service department and treat them the same as any other feedback. Tracking and Reporting Feedback Transit agencies were asked to select which option âbest describes the level of tracking and reporting of web-based customer feedback tools at their agency.â Almost two-thirds (64%) of the agencies reported that they integrate their web-based feedback with existing customer Figure C-8. âWhat department in your agency has primary responsibility for initiating, implementing, and monitoring web-based customer feedback tools?â Figure C-9. âHow is information from web-based customer feedback incorporated into agency operations and planning?â
Transit Agency Survey C-13 feedback reporting systems. A separate tracking and reporting system for web-based customer feedback was cited by 11% of the agencies. Twenty-one percent of the agencies reported that they do not systematically track and report information from the web-based customer feedback tools (see Figure C-10). When looking at how feedback is tracked and reported by size of agency, large agencies are most likely to âintegrate web-based feedback into existing customer feedback reporting systemsâ (72%) with only 8% responding that they âdo not systematically track and report information from our web-based customer feedback tools.â Medium size agencies are somewhat less likely to integrate web-based feedback into existing systems (65%) and more likely not to have any systematic tracking and reporting of web-based feedback (21%). Over a third (35%) of the small agencies reported that they do not systematically track and report web-based customer feedback. It is not known if these agencies have a system for tracking non-web-based customer feedback (see Figure C-10). Measuring Performance Survey respondents were asked which option best describes their agencyâs performance mea- surement activities to improve transit services. Most agencies (70%) responded that they âregu- larly monitor and report a broad range of agency performance measures, including customer feedback measures.â Another 15% of agencies stated that they âperiodically measure perfor- mance, but do not have a regular performance measurement reporting program,â and 11% âregularly report and monitor agency performance measures, but do not have customer feed- back measuresâ (see Figure C-11). Benefits and Drawbacks of Web-Based Feedback Benefits of Using Web-Based Feedback Tools When asked âWhat are the benefits to your agency for using web-based feedback tools,â most of the respondents (91%) cited the increased opportunity for all customers to provide posi- tive feedback. This was followed by âEnhances agency image (innovative, customer-oriented, engaged with riders)â and âCost effectively collects customer feedback (less data entry, easy data retrieval),â with 83% and 81% respectively (see Figure C-12). Over three-quarters (76%) of the transit agencies saw the ability to interact with customers in real time as a benefit. Figure C-10. âWhich best describes the level of tracking and reporting of web-based customer feedback tools at your agency?â
C-14 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services n=113 Only one response category, âImproves the ability of special populations to provide feed- back,â was selected by less than half of the agencies (46%). Breaking down the responses by agency size, it became apparent that most agencies, regardless of their size, find the same benefits from using web-based feedback (see Figure C-13). Drawbacks of Using Web-Based Feedback Tools Respondents were asked to select the âdrawbacks to their agency with the existing web-based feedback tools.â Lack of staff to respond to comments in a timely manner (64% of respondents) Figure C-12. âWhat are the benefits to your agency for using web-based feedback tools?â Figure C-11. âWhich best describes your agencyâs performance measurement activities to improve transit service?â
Transit Agency Survey C-15 was the largest drawback and the only one that was selected by more than half of the agencies. âPotential negative feedback could affect agency imageâ and âDifficult to comply with archiving, record keeping and other regulationsâ (38% and 34% of respondents, respectively) were the next most commonly selected drawbacks (see Figure C-14). Respondents did not appear to consider the other identified drawbacks as serious concerns; no more than 20% of respondents selected any other reasons. Responses in the âotherâ category (selected by 11% of respondents) were Figure C-13. Benefits of web-based feedback by size of agency. Figure C-14. âWhat are the drawbacks to your agency with the existing web-based feedback tools?â
C-16 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services primarily related to customers who do not use the Internet (even though they may have access) and concerns that web-based feedback tools do not reach all populations. Agency responses about drawbacks of the existing web-based feedback tools did not show much variation by size of agency. The only major differences were that smaller agencies were less likely to agree that the potential for negative feedback could impact the agencyâs image, and they were also more likely to agree that their riders did not use the Internet or have smartphones. Otherwise, most of the perceived drawbacks with web-based feedback tools were common to agencies of all sizes (see Figure C-15). Barriers to Adding Web-Based Feedback Tools Agencies were asked âWhat is preventing your agency from adding web-based feedback tools?â Over half of the respondents noted that the âlack of staff resources to develop, imple- ment, and maintain the toolâ is an obstacle (57% of respondents). At the same time, 34% of agencies responded, âDoes not applyânothing is preventing usâ from expanding their web- based tools (see Figure C-16). Staff Resources Used to Support Web-Based Tools To understand current resources allocated to supporting web-based feedback tools, agen- cies were asked âWhat is the approximate level of staff resources (across all departments) used to support web-based customer feedback activities?â The majority of answers (60%) were 5.0 full time employees (FTE) or fewer, although there were some agencies that stated they have more than 50 FTE supporting web-based feedback tools. The higher figures may represent staff resources to support the full range of customer feedback activities, given that many agencies integrate web-based feedback with other feedback systems. One out of four agencies did not provide an estimate of staff resources used to support web-based feedback. Figure C-15. Drawbacks affecting agencies by size of agency.
Transit Agency Survey C-17 Future Use of Web-Based Feedback Tools When asked âHow do you anticipate your use of the following web-based tools will change over the next five years,â two tools stood out as likely to be used more: social media and online surveys with 77% and 70% of respondents, respectively (see Table C-5 and Figure C-17). Both of these were among the tools that most agencies are currently using, as shown in Figure C-3. Adding the agencies who âwill start usingâ together with those that âwill use more,â 82% of the agencies anticipate using social media within the next five years as a tool to gather feedback and 78% anticipate using online surveys. Mobile applications is the tool that could see the most growth, with 22% of respondents anticipating that they would âstart usingâ this type of web- based customer feedback tool over the next five years. Definitions of the various tools for col- lecting feedback can be found earlier in this Appendix. It is worth noting that almost no agencies stated they would âstop usingâ or use tools less over the next five years. Agencies are keeping their options open, with very few agencies stating that they âwould not implementâ a specific feedback tool and a sizable percentage saying they âdonât know.â Figure C-16. âWhat is preventing your agency from adding web-based feedback tools?â Use More Stay the Same Use Less Stop Using Will Start Using Wonât Implement Don't Know Social Media 77% 12% 0% 0% 5% 1% 6% Online Surveys 70% 15% 0% 0% 8% 0% 7% Online Forms 50% 29% 3% 1% 8% 0% 10% Mobile Feedback 39% 8% 0% 0% 22% 5% 26% Online Feedback Panels 31% 7% 3% 0% 9% 6% 44% Internet Forums 20% 14% 2% 2% 7% 11% 46% Crowdsourcing 17% 8% 1% 0% 8% 10% 56% Table C-5. Agenciesâ anticipated change in use of web-based feedback tools.
C-18 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Incorporating Feedback from Transportation Disadvantaged Riders Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires public transit agencies to provide services in a fair and equitable manner to all passengers without regard to their race, color, or national ori- gin. Agencies must also reduce language barriers that may impede access to important services by customers who may not be proficient in English. This requirement extends to ensuring that transportation disadvantaged persons have equal opportunity to provide feedback on the full range of current and future transit services. Web-based customer feedback tools can assist in reaching out to these individuals. Accessibility of Web-Based Tools Some tools are readily available to improve website accessibility for individuals with disabili- ties. Section 5082 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act provides accessibility requirements and stan- dards that federal agencies are asked to follow. Common practices to ensure accessibility include closed captioning, visual contrast, adjustable text sizes, keyboard navigation for people with impaired mobility, and color schemes that color-blind readers can recognize. When asked âWhat does your agency do to make your agencyâs web-based tools accessible to transportation disadvantaged and Title VI populations,â 86% of the responding agencies selected at least one accessibility feature to help people use their web-based tools. The primary features included special formatting to support text readers for the visually impaired, site trans- lators for persons with limited English proficiency, and variable text sizes (see Figure C-18). Note: Due to the small numbers, agencies repor ng they would âStop Usingâ tools are not shown in the figure. Figure C-17. âHow do you anticipate your use of the following web-based tools will change over the next five years?â 2 Section 508 Standards can be found online (http://section508.gov/index.cfm?fuseAction=stdsdoc)
Transit Agency Survey C-19 Some tools were not widely used, such as text-only tools and closed captioning. Use of tools like these is closely related to certain applications, specifically those with video or audio features, which may explain their more limited adoption. Fourteen percent of the responding agencies did not use any form of accessibility feature on their web-based tools. Many email and social media sites have built-in features that do not require additional software or programming, including site translators and variable text size, and it is possible that agencies do not consider these built-in features âspecial tools.â Rider Access to the Internet and Use of Smartphones An area of concern for agencies regarding web-based customer feedback tools is the percentage of the ridership base that can access these tools via Internet or smartphone. Of the 127 respondents who answered the question, approximately one-quarter did not have an estimate of the percentage of their ridership with access to the Internet or a smart- phone. Of those who provided an estimate, 70% stated that at least 61% of their riders had access to the Internet, and 35% stated that at least 61% of their riders had smartphones (see Figure C-19). Comparing responses based on agency size indicates that small agencies are more likely than large agencies to serve riders without access to the Internet and that donât have a smartphone (see Figure C-20 and Figure C-21). Thirteen percent of the small agencies estimated that 20% or less of their ridership had access to the Internet, while no medium and large agencies estimated Internet access to be that low. Looking at ownership of smartphones, 19% of small agencies estimated that 20% or fewer of their riders had a smartphone while 6% of medium sized agencies and none of the large agencies estimated such a low rate smartphone ownership by their riders. Respondents were then asked âWhat is the source of this estimate?â The responses were nearly identical for Internet access and having a smartphone. Of those agencies that provided an estimate, over half (56%) said it was a staff estimate based on their knowledge of the customer base and over a quarter of the agencies had data based on an agency survey (see Figure C-22). Figure C-18. âWhat does your agency do to make your agencyâs web-based tools accessible to transportation disadvantaged and Title VI populations?â
C-20 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Note: This figure does not include respondents that selected âDonât Knowâ Figure C-19. âWhat is the estimate of the percentage of your riders that have Internet access/smartphones? Figure C-20. Agency estimate of the percentage of riders that have Internet access, by size of agency. Figure C-21. Agency estimate of the percentage of riders that have smartphones, by size of agency.
Transit Agency Survey C-21 Final Thoughts on Using Web-Based Feedback Tools Ideal Web-Based Customer Feedback System Survey respondents were asked to imagine the ideal web-based customer feedback system for their agency. They were asked to indicate what they would like to see, how it would operate, and what types of feedback they would receive. There were 72 respondents who provided comments about their ideal system. Comments were categorized into general topic areas that reflected the most common responses (see Figure C-23). The most desired feature, mentioned by 35% of the agencies, was the ability to track, monitor, and report on customer feedback. The next most mentioned features were the ability to integrate comments across all technologies (e.g., social media, mobile application, email), and ability to have real-time, two-way conversations with customers (24% and 22% of agencies, respectively). Figure C-22. âWhat is the source of this estimate?â Note: Mulple responses allowed; comments not related to online customer feedback systems were excluded. Figure C-23. âImagine for a minute the ideal web-based customer feedback system for your agency. What would your agency like to see? How would it operate? What type of feedback would you receive? Please describe your desired system.â
C-22 Use of Web-Based Rider Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services Lessons Learned Finally, survey respondents were asked to share âany lessons learned which would benefit other transit agencies that are considering implementing web-based customer feedback tools.â The most common comments were related to internal planning and policies (see Figure C-24). Example comments include: â¢ Have an overall roadmap for your digital efforts. Do not react all the timeâbe proactive. Have a plan and find a way for management to back the plan. Get IT involved early on. â¢ Have policies and procedures in place with clear work flows. â¢ Match your ability to manage and respond to comments to your resourcesâchoose the media that is most readily available to your customers. The next most common topics were related to timely and respectful responses to comments. Agencies stressed the importance of responding to feedback honestly and in a timely manner. The comments suggested that agencies believe that this practice helped to build trust from riders and acknowledged that the agency was trying to address the issue. Conclusions Overall, it was apparent that most of the responses focus on unsolicited feedbackâgather- ing, categorizing, responding, tracking, monitoring, and reporting. Regardless of the type of feedback, however, transit agencies see the benefits of web-based customer feedback, with the primary downside being the staff resources needed to support the systems. An element of the concern about staff resources is the expanding number of options for web- based feedback, as evidenced by the fact that almost no agencies stated they would reduce or âstop usingâ any of these over the next five years. The growing number of tools that need to be managed is a concern that is reflected both in the âdrawbacks to web-based feedbackâ (see Figure C-14) and in the comments about an ideal system and lessons learned (see Figure C-23 and Fig- ure C-24). Transit agencies see that the keys to managing these systems are planning, integration, Figure C-24. âDo you have any lessons learned which would benefit other transit agencies that are considering implementing web-based customer feedback tools? What is the most important lesson?â Note: Mulple responses allowed
Transit Agency Survey C-23 and automation. That is, key elements include developing an agency-wide digital feedback plan, with management support; having a system that automates as much of the process as possible, such as categorizing comments and forwarding to the proper person for response; and integrat- ing all feedback channels across all technologies into existing internal operating systems. Planning for the system recognizes that web-based customer feedback is now a standard method of communication. Having a plan, with the information technology requirements addressed; policies and procedures for handling customer feedback; data integration, reporting and analysis; and staff training are needed to incorporate the efforts into the organization struc- ture. Looking specifically at web-based customer feedback systems, integration and automation are essential for two reasons: efficient use of staff resources and the ability to translate the feed- back into information for improving transit through integrated analysis and reporting. Incorpo- rating these elements into the web-based customer feedback system plan is important to ensure that an agency is able to most effectively use all customer feedback to improve transit service.
Abbreviations and acronyms used without definitions in TRB publications: A4A Airlines for America AAAE American Association of Airport Executives AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials ACIâNA Airports Council InternationalâNorth America ACRP Airport Cooperative Research Program ADA Americans with Disabilities Act APTA American Public Transportation Association ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials ATA American Trucking Associations CTAA Community Transportation Association of America CTBSSP Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program DHS Department of Homeland Security DOE Department of Energy EPA Environmental Protection Agency FAA Federal Aviation Administration FHWA Federal Highway Administration FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FRA Federal Railroad Administration FTA Federal Transit Administration HMCRP Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers MAP-21 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (2012) NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASAO National Association of State Aviation Officials NCFRP National Cooperative Freight Research Program NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NTSB National Transportation Safety Board PHMSA Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration RITA Research and Innovative Technology Administration SAE Society of Automotive Engineers SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (2005) TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1998) TRB Transportation Research Board TSA Transportation Security Administration U.S.DOT United States Department of Transportation
TRA N SPO RTATIO N RESEA RCH BO A RD 500 Fifth Street, N W W ashington, D C 20001 A D D RESS SERV ICE REQ U ESTED ISBN 978-0-309-30871-7 9 7 8 0 3 0 9 3 0 8 7 1 7 9 0 0 0 0 U se of W eb-Based Rider Feedback to Im prove Public Transit Services TCRP Report 179 TRB