2008 Arlington Transit (ART) Rider Study

The survey sought to understand who is using ART and how they are using it; understand how ART is currently performing; identify ways to improve the product and service delivery; and establish benchmarks to assess future performance gains.


Demographic Profiles:

  • 55% of the respondents were female. The mean age is 36 – compared with the Arlington Profile, ART riders tend to be younger. The majority of riders are minorities – 31% Hispanic, 28% African-American, 9% Asian (27% White, non-Hispanic).
  • 84% of Riders live in Arlington. 63% of riders work in Arlington.
  • 13% are not employed and 21% are Students. 70% have annual household incomes below $60,000.
  • This report also looks at comparisons of different riders segments: Spanish-speaking Riders, ART Commuters, Frequent Riders, Long-term Riders, Prime Riders (long term and frequent), and Choice Riders (those who choose to ride the bus over driving alone).

Use of ART:

  • 58% say they ride ART buses 5 or more days a week.
  • 67% of Riders have been riding the bus for less than 3 years and 31% have been riding for less than a year.
  • Two thirds of riders live less than 3 blocks from a bus stop.
  • 61% of riders transferred to or from Metrobus/rail on the trip where they were surveyed.
  • 45% said they would take another bus if ART were not available, 10% would drive alone, and 7% would not make the trip at all.
  • 74% use ART to get to/from work. Other popular uses are errands, dining and entertainment, and school.
  • 31% say that the bus (not specifically ART) is their primary mode; only 7% drive alone.

Satisfaction with ART:

  • Nearly all service attributes are rated as important – particularly safety and reliability. For the most part, ART gets high marks on those attributes, especially in terms of payment process, lighting, and safety.
  • The areas that show the largest opportunity (using the SIR Opportunity Index) are short wait times, on time performance, and clean buses.
  • Using multiple regression to determine what drives satisfaction with ART, 5 aspects were shown to be significant – Driver is courteous, Bus is clean, Wait time is short, Bus runs on time, and Bus is handicap accessible (this has a negative relationship). Driver courteousness and short wait time had particularly strong impacts.
  • More than half of all Riders were aware of ArlingtonTransit.com, Bike on Bus, 228-RIDE, and ART Schedules for handhelds, but less than half were aware of ART Alerts and the ART Forum.
  • 79% find ART Bus and Bus Stop information easy to understand, 76% fine the information useful, and 71% find the information up-to-date.
  • Satisfaction with ART is high (85% gave a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 5) and likelihood of recommending is even higher (87% gave a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 5).
  • Satisfaction varied slightly by route – 74 had the highest and 75 had the lowest (but the sample sizes were very small for some of the routes).

Advertising and Other Arlington Services:

  • 27% recall seeing or hearing transportation advertising.
  • ART Riders are familiar with many Arlington Services and some have used them.


  • Mode of Data Collection – Self-administered 4-page Onboard Paper Questionnaire; Interceptors rode the bus between 9/15/08 and 9/28/08; There were two different types of surveys labeled A and B where questions 8 through 11 differed; Both of these surveys were translated into Spanish and riders were given a choice; Respondents were offered a free bus pass for taking the survey; Quotas were set for each route based on ridership;
  • Completed Surveys – 2,206 total surveys (700 of which were in Spanish)
  • Survey Population – ART Riders
  • Survey Instrument – Paper Questionnaire
  • Criteria for Participation – Riding the bus


Full Presentation (PDF): 2008 ART Rider PRESENTATION

Technical Summary (PDF): SUMMARY – 2008 Arlington Transit (ART) Rider STUDY

Survey Questionnaire A (PDF): 2008 ART Rider QUESTIONNAIRE A

Survey Questionnaire B (PDF): 2008 ART Rider QUESTIONNAIRE B

Survey Questionnaire A in Spanish (PDF): 2008 ART Rider QUESTIONNAIRE A Spanish

Survey Questionnaire B in Spanish (PDF):2008 ART Rider QUESTIONNAIRE B Spanish

Data Tables (PDF): 2008 ART Rider DATA TABLES


Contact the ACCS Research Team for more information.

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