2007 ACCS CommuterDirect – Individual Users Study

As outlined in the 2006-2008 ACCS Program Research and Evaluation Plan, the purpose of this study are to collect and analyze information needed to assess the performance and impact of CommuterDirect.com, and to establish benchmarks from which performance gains can be made.


Use of service:

  • CommuterDirect services a very large geographic area – 58% of respondents are residents of Maryland.
  • 70% of customers typically commute by rail, 9% by bus, and only 12% drive alone.
  • Almost half the respondents staring using the service within the past year.
  • Respondents originally heard of the service most often through online sources, followed by referrals.
  • MARC and Metrorail are the most common transit services for which passes/fares are purchases.
  • MARC Monthly Pass and SmartTrip cards are the most popular fare types purchased.
  • Nearly two out three purchase from CommuterDirect.com once a month or more.
  • 42% of customers are paying the entire costs out of their own pockets. 14% have costs covered entirely by their company.


  • CommuterDirect.com customers are loyal users – Half of respondents purchase fares exclusively through this service.
  • About one in four purchase at their Metro station, citing ease of purchase as the number one reason for choosing to make the purchase there.
  • Other fare sources are rated highly on most important attributes with the exception of customer service.

Web site:

  • Recall of recent Web site changes is low, but the changes took place over one year ago.
  • Among those recalling, the change is viewed very positively with improved ease of navigation mentioned most often as the reason why.

Renewable order service:

  • 90% of respondents were aware of the renewable service on an aided basis and half of those aware are using the renewable service.
  • Users rate their experience with the renewable service very highly.

Customer Contact:

  • Slightly less than half the respondents had contacted CommuterDirect about a problem.
  • Reasons for making contact were problems with the order or difficulty navigating/using the site.
  • Four out of five were satisfied or very satisfied with their contact.


  • Fulfillment service received high ratings on all measures except shipping/handling fees.  Only one out two agreed that shipping/handling fees were reasonable.
  • Many of those who felt the fees were not reasonable wanted a less expensive option, such as regular mail, to be made available.

Overall experience:

  • The overall experience of customers was rated very positively, with timeliness and ease of use being the major benefits mentioned.
  • The Net Promoter score for CommuterDirect is 82% – among the very highest scores for any product or service in any category. (The Net Promoter Score is the percentage of those likely or very likely to recommend minus the percentage somewhat or very unlikely to recommend)


  • Almost one in three have made a change in their commute mode since starting to use CommuterDirect.com. Drive alone was the most common mode used before making this change.
  • Although other factors may have been the primary motivation for changing, 22% of those making a change said CommuterDirect.com had an influence or assisted in that process.
  • One in four said they made a change in non-work travel modes and 35% of these reported that CommuterDirect.com had an impact.


  • Mode of Data Collection – 12-minute Online Research Survey: Notification of study signed by Jay Freshi sent by email to all current customers 11/15/07;  Email with invitation and link to survey sent 11/26/07; $5 Starbucks Card incentive offered to first 200 respondents; incentive extended to all respondents by ACCS; Survey taken offline 12/14/07
  • Completed Surveys – 390 respondents; 13% response rate
  • Survey Population – 3,070 current customers of CommuterDirect.com
  • Survey Instrument – SIR Interfeedback
  • Criteria for Participation – Have made a purchase on CommuterDirect.com within the past 12 months (current account)


Full Presentation (PDF):  2007 ACCS CommuterDirect – Individual User STUDY

Technical Summary (PDF):  Summary – 2007 ACCS CommuterDirect – Individual User STUDY

Survey Questionnaire (PDF):  2007 ACCS CommuterDirect – Individual User QUESTIONNAIRE

Data Tables (PDF):  2007 ACCS CommuterDirect – Individual User DATA TABLES


Contact the ACCS Research Team for more information.


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