What We Know:
There is pent-up demand for using alternative commute options. According to the 2006 Arlington County Resident Study, 28% of residents who drive alone on their commutes said they were likely to try an alternative to SOV commuting. 30% of residents had tried a new mode in the past year.
Research has shown that either not knowing someone to ride with or not knowing how to engage the system are the biggest barriers to trial of ridesharing. Based on this knowledge, Arlington County Commuter Services does everything possible to bring answers to commuters 24/7 through the national award-winning Web site at www.CommuterPage.com®.
This Web site offers commuters information about Metro bus and rail, commuter rail systems, local bus systems, car/vanpooling, bicycle and pedestrian services, paratransit, current traffic, and much more. Special features include bus schedules that can be used online or mailed to a person’s home; applications for Commuter Connections’ Ridematching and Guaranteed Ride Home services; and a cost of commuting calculator that compares the cost of driving alone versus transit. In FY07, the site had 2.6 million visitor sessions, an increase of 22% over FY06.
Another helpful option offered by ACCS is CommuterDirect.com™, a hassle-free way to buy tickets and passes online for Metro VRE, MARC, and other local transit systems. Mastercard, VISA, Discover and American Express credit cards are accepted, as are Metrochek and CommuterChoice Maryland cards. Users can also choose to have their checking accounts debited. A large number of users take advantage of the automatic ticket/pass order renewal and delivery. CommuterDirect.com generated over $1.5 Million in sales in FY07, an increase of 17% over FY06 .
ACCS’ two Web sites are complemented by bricks-and-mortar Commuter Stores — three retail outlets that provide information and services in locations convenient to travelers. Each store is staffed with friendly professionals who are experts in helping commuters find the best and most economical ways to get around. The stores are stocked with timetables and maps and sell transit fares for all services operating in the region. The stores also provide Commuter Connection’s Ridematching and Guaranteed Ride Home services as well as information and services for bicycling, walking, paratransit, and other tranpsortation modes. One of the Commuter Stores is even on wheels!
ACCS’ Mobile Commuter Store service increases access and assistance to residents and commuters by utilizing a fixed weekly schedule, allowing its customers to make visits to the store at the same location on the same day of the week. The fixed stops include: Pentagon City, Ballston, The Pentagon, Courthouse Plaza, Clarendon, and the East Falls Church Metro.
Arlington County’s CommuterDirect.com and Commuter Stores set record high sales figures year after year. Studies of users have confirmed that the availability of these sites/locations played an important role in their mode choice decision making. They make it easier for thousands of people in Arlington County and throughout the metropolitan DC area to fully utilize the alternatives to SOV travel.
Key Supporting Facts:
- 44% of Arlington County residents had heard of The Commuter Store when prompted. 13% of residents had heard of CommuterPage.com and 4% had heard of CommuterDirect.com. (Source: 2006 Arlington County Residents Satisfaction Study)
- In that same resident study, 11% said they used The Commuter Store in the past year. 2% had used CommuterPage.com. (Source: 2006 Arlington County Residents Satisfaction Study)
- 35% of Commuter Store patrons neither live nor work in Arlington County. Only a quarter of CommuterPage.com users live in Arlington. 2% of CommuterDirect.com users live in Arlington in contrast to the 58% who live in Maryland. 6% of CommuterDirect.com users work in Arlington in contrast to the 54% who work in DC. (Sources: 2007 ACCS Commuter Store Study, 2007 ACCS CommuterPage.com Study, 2007 ACCS CommuterDirect.com Study)
- Less than one in eight Commuter Store patrons typically drives alone to work. Only 20% of CommuterPage.com users and 12% of CommuterDirect.com users typically drive alone to work. (Sources: 2007 ACCS Commuter Store Study, 2007 ACCS CommuterPage.com Study, 2007 ACCS CommuterDirect.com Study)
- Two-thirds of Commuter Store patrons visit the stores at least once a month. The majority of customers go there to purchase transit fares. A third of CommuterPage.com users visit more than once a month and 65% of CommuterDirect.com users say they make purchases on the site at least once a month. (Sources: 2007 ACCS Commuter Store Study, 2007 ACCS CommuterPage.com Study, 2007 ACCS CommuterDirect.com Study)
- Customer service is excellent at the Commuter Stores with the vast majority agreeing that the staff is professional, knowledgeable, and helpful. More than 90% of patrons surveyed had a good experience in the stores, and more than 8 in 10 are likely to recommend the Stores to someone who needs travel/transit information. This equates to a Net Promoter Score of 78% (Net Promoter is defined as the percentage of promoters —those somewhat or very likely to recommend minus the percentage of detractors —those somewhat or very unlikely to recommend; for more on Net Promoter Scores. See Fred Reichheld’s book The Ultimate Question for additional information on Net Promoter scores). (Source: 2007 ACCS Commuter Store Study) Almost three-quarters of CommuterPage.com users find the information and content better than that of other informational sites. (Source: 2007 ACCS CommuterPage.com Study)
- 89% rate CommuterDirect.com positively on the overall experience. 85% are likely to recommend, which leads to a Net Promoter Score of 82%. Two-thirds of CommuterDiret.com users have already recommended the site to others. (Source: 2007 ACCS CommuterDirect.com Study)
- 32% have made a change in work travel first visiting The Commuter Store. More than half of CommuterPage.com users made changes in how they travel to work since they first started using CommuterPage.com. 70% said that CommuterPage.com was instrumental in that change in commute. 31% of CommuterDirect.com users indicated that they made a change in work travel since first using the site. 22% attributed that impact to CommuterDirect.com. (Sources: 2007 ACCS Commuter Store Study, 2007 ACCS CommuterPage.com Study, 2007 ACCS CommuterDirect.com Study)
- 32% have made a change in non-work travel since first visiting The Commuter Store. Almost half of CommuterPage.com made changes in non-work travel since they first started using CommuterPage.com. 52% said CommuterPage.com was instrumental in that non-work change. 25% of CommuterDirect.com users indicated that they made a change in work travel since first using the site. 35% attributed that impact to CommuterDirect.com. (Sources: 2007 ACCS Commuter Store Study, 2007 ACCS CommuterPage.com Study, 2007 ACCS CommuterDirect.com Study)