2009 Commuter Stores Study – Wave 2

The purpose of the study is to: understand how ACCS’ Commuter Store™ concept is currently performing; identify ways to improve the product and service delivery; measure the overall impact of ACCS’ investment in the Commuter Store; and benchmark against the 2007 Commuter Store Study.


Demographics of Commuter Store Survey Respondents:

  • Slightly more males than females responded to the survey (55% were male). The difference in the percentage of males and females decreased since 2007.
  • More minority respondents were captured in the 2009 survey, especially Hispanics. Some of the increase in Hispanic visitors can be explained by an increase in first-time visitors who identify as Hispanic.
  • More lower income respondents were captured in the 2009 survey than in the 2007 survey.
  • Distribution across generations was similar for 2007 and 2009 with an increase only in Generation Y respondents (more of whom would have joined the workforce since 2007).
  • More respondents who took the survey in 2009 were unemployed and fewer work full-time (than in 2007).
  • 40% of the respondents neither lived nor worked in Arlington County, but utilized the Stores as they were passing through. This in an increase over 35% in 2007.
  • Customers were transit riders, with less than 10% driving alone as their main source of commuting to work. This is consistent with the 2007 survey data. Slightly less than a third drove alone as a secondary mode of transportation. This is a decrease from 2007.

Customer Behavior:

  • There was an increase in first-time visitors over 2007 with 23% falling into that category. Most of that increase has come from Rosslyn.
  • Of those that were not first-timers, more 2009 respondents indicated that they visit the Stores once a week or more than did in 2007.
  • In 2009, a question was added asking respondents who they thought operated The Commuter Stores. No one said “ACCS” or “ATP” specifically, but 34% named “Metro/WMATA.”
  • The majority heard about the Commuter Stores via “passing by” or referral as in 2007. There was an increase in respondents who heard about the stores from their employer.
  • About three-quarters visited the Stores specifically to purchase tickets or fares and more than three-quarters who visited the Stores made a purchase. What they purchased varied significantly by Store. Those who did not purchase said they just didn’t need anything, but more 2009 respondents were not able to find what they were looking for.
  • Most visited their particular store because it was close to their home or work as n 2007
  • A little more than a third picked up a free schedule or brochure. This is a decrease from 2007.
  • Many in 2009 mentioned that they would like more specific transit items and SmarTrip services.

Store Experience:

  • The Commuter Store maintained its high customer satisfaction. 90% who used the 0 to 10 scale gave the store an 8, 9, or 10. 94% who used the 1 to 5 scale gave the store a 4 or 5 (down only one point from 2007). Scores did not differ significantly among the stores.
  • The Net Promoter Score (based on the 0 to 10 scale used in “The Ultimate Question” by Fred Reichheld) is 79%. Using the 1 to 5 scale, the score is 83%. This is a slight increase over 78% in 2007.

Store Impact:

  • 32% made a change in work travel and 28% made a change in non-work travel since first visiting The Commuter Store. The non-work change is a significant decrease from the 2007 percentage (35%).
  • 39% of those who make work travel changes and 48% of those who made changes in non-work travel said that The Commuter Store influenced or assisted in the change. This question was not asked in 2007.
  • 2009 Respondents indicated that they are less likely than 2007 respondents to purchase tickets at all. Slightly less than half of the respondents also purchased tickets from places other than The Commuter Store – similar to 2007 results.
  • 6 in 10 customers also looked for travel information in places other than The Commuter Store although there was an increase in the number of respondents who say they don’t look for travel information at all.


  • Mode of Data Collection – Store intercepts (5-question pre-survey; Follow-up online survey in store with ability to finish in another location if necessary; $5 Gourmet Coffee Card incentive for online survey completion)
  • Completed Surveys – 1,008 paper questionnaire/ 565 online questionnaire Completes
  • Survey Population – Visitors to the five Commuter Stores between 3/30/09 and 4/6/09
  • Survey Instrument – Paper pre-questionnaire, then Online Follow-up
  • Criteria for Participation – Store customer


Full Presentation (PDF): 2009_ACCS_Commuter_Store_STUDY

Technical Summary (PDF): 2009 ACCS Commuter Store SUMMARY

Survey Questionnaire (PDF): 2009 ACCS Commuter Store PREQUESTIONNAIRE

Data Tables (PDF): 2009 ACCS Commuter Store DATA TABLES


Contact the ACCS Research Team for more information.

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