Rider, public comments become basis for STAR Transit service expansions

Rider, public comments become basis for STAR Transit service expansions

ROCKWALL, TX – December 1, 2020 — The findings of a major survey of transit and non-transit riders in STAR Transit’s service area is the foundation on which the agency is building out its short- and long-term development plan, according to Executive Director Tommy Henricks.

“Over time, STAR Transit will evaluate changes in user needs and assess the perceptions of services by utilizing this data and that of other rider surveys which we will be conducting on a regular basis,” Henricks said.  “This input is essential as we plan service enhancements, develop informational resources, and attract new riders.”

The largest group represented by survey respondents who are transit users was 45 to 60 of age (38 percent).  Respondents ages 25 to 44 made up 24 percent; 16-24, 9 percent; and four percent were younger than 15. Most respondents were employed, 38 percent fulltime and nine percent part-time. Thirty-five percent of the participants were retired; eight percent unemployed; six percent college students, and three percent were K-12 students. One-third of the respondents reported having a physical disability. Sixty-one percent said they use STAR Transit, 31 percent use DART and others use Medicaid transportation, paratransit and rideshare platforms. Forty-one percent indicated they use services provided by both STAR Transit and DART.

“What we gathered from this survey is that transit riders want the service to be reliable, easy to use, safe and friendly,” Henricks said.  “More than half of our riders tell us they use our services five or more days a week.”

When asked where they traveled, respondents listed medical appointments,  shopping, work, recreation/ entertainment, school, childcare, and church.  They mostly rely on the agency’s website for information about routes, schedules and trip planning.  STAR Transit’s call center, app and social media are also important.

The survey was online between June 4 and Aug. 9; a paper version was made available to accommodate anyone without the ability to access the online version.  Plans for in-person interviews on buses were discontinued due to safety precautions related to COVID-19. The survey was promoted on STAR Transit’s website, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media.

Submitted press release.

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