Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Advertisements
Advertisements

Metro aces first service evaluation

[media-credit name=’BEN CLASSON/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]Metro_Bus_BC[/media-credit]University of Wisconsin researchers conducted the first evaluation of campus bus routes this summer and found riders are pleased with the service.

The survey, which examined the 80, 81, 82 and 85 routes, was conducted by College of Engineering transportation researchers, and revealed Madison Metro is heavily used by young people, especially in the downtown area.

“Generally, the urban core gets good service marks,” said Jason Bittner, deputy director of the Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education. “The 80 route has received very high marks with the exception of how crowded it gets.”

Advertisements

Steve Ingham, UW’s Transportation Committee chair, said the committee would evaluate how well transportation services are meeting the needs of the campus community starting this fall.

“The campus community will have ample opportunity to comment on likes and dislikes,” Ingham said. “If they’ve got beef, let us know.”

Students and staff working on the project conducted an on-board passenger survey developed by Cambridge Systematics last spring to evaluate the Madison Metro bus service.

The survey included questions on rider demographics, primary bus use, travel destinations and overall satisfaction.

Sharon Persich, planning and scheduling manager for Madison Metro, said about half of respondents were younger than 34.

“All in all, people are very satisfied with the Metro service,” Bittner said. “There certainly are routes and destinations that the riders would like to see some improvements.”

While there are some complaints, Bittner said they are mostly regarding routes on the outskirts of Madison.

Sharon Persich, planning and scheduling manager for Madison Metro, said the results showed about half of respondents use the bus for work, while 22 percent use the bus to and from college or university.

According to Persich, Madison Metro has not seen a large number of complaints from students largely because the campus area has the highest level of service with a majority of bus routes stopping in the downtown campus area.

While students make up a large portion of riders, the results revealed most respondents owned a vehicle and are licensed drivers but are taking the bus anyway.

Ingham said the poor economy and the rising cost of fuel make it even more important to provide good transportation services.

Persich said the study could also be used in the decision to build a commuter rail in Madison.

“The key to it is, is it going to be cost-effective? Is it going to be carrying enough riders to determine if it is worth doing?” Persich said.

The light rail system, discussed by city officials, planners and the public in the spring of 2007, would provide energy efficient service between downtown and outer areas, such as Sun Prairie.

Persich said Madison Metro has been conducting similar surveys every five or 10 years since 1955.

“In order to effectively run a transit operation, you need to revisit the routing information and timing as well as getting information on where people are going and want to go.” Bittner said.

Advertisements
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *