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Overall, Most Mass Transit Users Satisfied With Service

(CBS) -- There's some restlessness, but overall, Chicago-area mass transit users remain satisfied with service overall, despite delays, breakdowns, crowding and fare hikes.

The key indicators in the Regional Transportation Authority's latest customer satisfaction survey are down, but not drastically. Customer loyalty dropped from 90 percent in 2011 to 87 percent; the perception of transit as a good value was down from 77 percent to 73 percent, and overall satisfaction was down from 83 percent to 77 percent.


"Their loyalty is pretty remarkable," RTA Chairman Kirk Dillard said of the ridership. He said he believed the severe winter weather a year ago was partially to blame, although Metra also endured a massive February snowstorm shortly before the 2011 survey was taken.

"While we'll always strive to do better, I think we're the most efficient system in the United States, and our mechanics are clearly the finest mechanics with very old equipment."

In another just-released survey of peer agencies from across the United States, Metra ranked third in the number of miles between breakdowns, down from first. The figures were for 2013 and 2012., the latest years available.

Where would riders like to see improvement the most? CTA riders said the availability of transit regionwide, rush-hour headways (bus and train bunching) and total travel time. Metra and Pace riders ranked the two most serious problems as the coordination of schedules and on-time performance; Metra riders ranked notification of service changes third, while Pace riders listed rush-hour headways.

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