A. Lee Graham
Trinity Railway Express and Dallas Area Rapid Transit are helping the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) determine how residents are using the growing regional transit system and how it could better serve a growing population.
Beginning in February, TRE and DART passengers will be asked to participate in two ridership surveys. Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) and Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) passengers will be surveyed from September through November, during the second phase of the $1.5 million project. The transit agencies are spending $900,000 on the survey project, while NCTCOG is contributing $600,000.
“The travel survey provides essential information for management and operation of public transportation in the region, as well as investment in the regional system,” said Arash Mirzaei, a senior program manager with NCTCOG, commenting in a news release.
“With real, observed data, the decision-making process will be more efficient and effective. We look forward to collaborating with these agencies and helping make improvements that will enhance public transportation throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area both today and in the future,” Mirzaei said.
Beginning in early February, TRE and DART will conduct “stop-to-stop” surveys, which will continue through mid-March, in an effort to determine the trip patterns at each bus stop and rail station.
The other survey, conducted from the conclusion of the “stop-to-stop” survey through May, will see surveyors asking randomly selected riders questions in an effort to collect demographic information and details about the use of public transportation.
The surveys are voluntary and answers will be kept confidential.
Questions regarding the passengers’ starting locations and destinations will provide details about why people are choosing transit and paint a picture of where demand is heaviest. The survey information will allow transit agencies to better address demand, as they will know the length, time and purpose of trips.
The region’s transit passengers were most recently surveyed in 2007-08. Such surveys have historically been well-received in Dallas-Fort Worth, with more than 85 percent of those asked to participate agreeing to provide answers.
More information is available at www.NCTCOG.org/survey2014.