Arlington’s Commuter Store® Helping Mobilize Entire DC Region

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Paul is communications director for Mobility Lab. He specializes in storytelling and editing, as well as environmental and pop-culture issues related to transportation.
July 10, 2012

More than half of first-time visitors to The Commuter Store® make some kind of change in how they get around the DC region.

And 75% of The Commuter Store® customers live outside of Arlington County – which operates the four locations and one mobile store – showing that the service is truly benefiting the entire region.

These are among the findings released by Mobility Lab today in the 2012 The Commuter Store® Study. The research was performed by LDA Consulting and the Southeastern Institute of Research and polled nearly 600 respondents from all five stores.

The stores serve as a resource for customers interested in finding the best ways to travel to their destinations, whether by bus, rail, carpool, vanpool, bicycle, or walking. The stores also sell transit passes, provides maps and schedules, and assists with SmartBenefits provided by employers.

More than 200,000 people visit the stores and purchase more than $10 million in fares each year.

The top 10 takeaways from the study are:

  1. 86% of those surveyed made a purchase while in the store and 4 in 10 people picked up free information or schedules while in the store
  2. The store serves people from all over the Metro DC area with more than 75% of The Commuter Store®  customers surveyed living in other parts of the Metro DC Area
  3. Only 9% said that they could not find what they were looking for and everyone who asked for assistance got the information or item they were looking for
  4. Almost 3 in 10 respondents said they had started using The Commuter Store® within the past three months
  5. 84% of respondents rated their experience at The Commuter Store® a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale
  6. 8 in 10 customers say that they are definitely coming back
  7. The Commuter Store® staff scored very high (85% or above) on ratings of knowledge, helpfulness and professionalism
  8. The Store has a net promoter score of 72%; this is the same score as the Apple Store and higher than Southwest Airlines (59%), Google (53%), and Amazon (70%)
  9. More than half of respondents (54%) said they made some change to how they get around Arlington and Metro DC since they started using The Commuter Store®
  10. Of those who made a change, 40% changed from driving alone to some other mode, and two-thirds said The Commuter Store® helped them make the change

Chris Hamilton, the bureau chief of Arlington County Commuter Services, tells me that “the high customer-service scores indicate that there’s still a desire by the public for in-person, one-on-one assistance in navigating the region’s many travel options. The documented travel impacts in this research show that Arlington’s commitment to making it easy for people to choose transportation options to live, work and play in Arlington is working.”

For the full study, please go here.

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