2003 Arlington County Pike Ride Transit Service Study

The purpose of this study was to assess the initial launch of Arlington County’s new “Pike Ride” transit service and to identify ways to improve the service. The new service began in September 2003 and is provided by Metrobus.


Rider Profile:

  • Based on respondents intercepted, the typical “Pike Ride” rider was: An average of 36 years old; Employed full-time; Living in a household with two persons; Owner or Leaser of at least one vehicle
  • Riders represented a mix of ethnicities, including white (47%), black, (31%), and Hispanic (15%)
  • Most of the riders surveyed were either riding to or from work and used the service an average of about five days per week.
  • Most walked an average of two blocks to the “Pike Ride” bus stop.
  • The primary destination of riders surveyed in the mornings was the Pentagon; these riders outnumbered riders going to Pentagon City.  But evening boardings at Pentagon City outnumbered boardings at the Pentagon.

“Pike Ride” Information:

  • The vast majority (84%) of riders surveyed said it is at least somewhat easy to find information about “Pike Ride.”  Almost half (47%) said it is very easy.  Overall, awareness of information sources was highest for point-of-use media.  All (100%) of the Hispanic respondents who had seen or used “Pike Ride” information in Spanish found this information to be useful.
  • Awareness that the bus they were riding is part of the new “Pike Ride” service was high, but even higher among those riding routes 16 GHKW on which interior and exterior “Pike Ride” logos and advertising were placed.
  • About one in five were unaware that they could take any of the 16 line Metrobus routes along Columbia Pike to ride between Carlin Springs and the Pentagon or Pentagon City.

Overall Satisfaction:

  • Overall, satisfaction with “Pike Ride” bus service was high. More than two-thirds rated the overall service as excellent or very good.
  • The majority of respondents were pleased with the current bus stop locations.
  • The attributes that received the lowest satisfaction ratings were on-time arrival, cost of riding, and frequency of service.  Close to three in ten riders surveyed said they have experienced problems with the new “Pike Ride” service – time/schedules were not accurate, buses were overcrowded during rush hours, buses didn’t come frequently enough.
  • Satisfaction was higher for weekend “Pike Ride” service than for weekday service.  Riders surveyed during a morning trip were most likely to say that they had experienced problems with “Pike Ride” service, while weekend riders were the more likely to say they had not had any problems.


  • Mode of Data Collection – On-board survey
  • Completed Surveys – 288 Respondents Total: 215 English; 13 Spanish
  • Survey Population – Riders of the “Pike Ride” system
  • Survey Instrument – In-person, on-board interviews
  • Criteria for Participation – Age 18 and Older


Full Presentation (PDF):  Pike Ride Intercept Study

Technical Summary (PDF):  Summary – 2003 Arlington County Pike Ride Transit STUDY


Contact the ACCS Research Team for more information.


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Community Transit has otgrotfen what their name is all about. Its “COMMUNITY” that is being taken away and otgrotfen. And if they think for one minute it is doesn’t have anything to do with SWIFT, that is bull. You can see in their proposal that almost every bus route is being directed towards SWIFT, to make us passengers use it. They say this is funded for two years, but who will pay for it after that? If they are receiving federal funding to run swift, how can they propose to do away with service on Sunday. That should already be “funded” and paid for. And besides, where does the government get that money? It is our tax payers money that funds it. This is just another way for you to raise our taxes. Somebody needs to go into that company and start cleaning house from the top down. I am sure there is a way better way to save money than cutting service and worse yet a whole day of it that will greatly affect this community. People in the community will lose their jobs if they can’t get to work, there will be many more cars on the roads which will affect everybody that already drives. Drivers will be out of work etc. Sadly because they are the ones that get us where we need to go. They are the ones that deal with us in the public daily (and I have seen some not so nice passengers they have to deal with) and they are the one’s that represent the company to the public. Funny how this whole proposal is not going to affect the people making it. It will only affect us the passengers and the drivers that will be laid off. Up until this year, I have always thought of CT as a good public company, but I can tell you now that I have no respect for the administration staff and no confidence in their decision making. CT no longer knows what Community means.



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