Frequency, additional service hours and safety and security topped the list of transit priorities for St. Clair County residents according to the results of a recent survey by the St. Clair County Transit District. More than 1,200 St. Clair County residents weighed in on transit service in the area. The survey is just one outreach tool being utilized as a part of Transit Vision 2020, a 9 month comprehensive analysis of the St. Clair County transit system commissioned by the St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD).
The St. Clair County Transit District launched the study, called Transit Vision 2020, in June of this year. SCCTD hired Transportation Management & Design, Inc. (TMD) to create an interactive online survey to collect the public’s thoughts on the existing transit system and how it can be improved in the future. The survey consisted of five interactive screens that informed participants about the project and allowed them to provide feedback in both closed and open-ended question format. The survey was launched on July 24, 2019 and ran until October 7, 2019. More than 1,200 people participated in the survey and provided 22,000-plus data points and over 700 additional comments.
The first tab was informational and provided respondents with information on the current transit system including the townships currently served, SCCTD’s service priorities, and the purpose of this study. The second tab asked attendees about their current travel habits, barriers to using the current transit system, and which groups are in need of better transit service. The survey’s third tab asked respondents to decide how they would invest in transit in St. Clair County. The fourth tab asked respondents to show on a map where they conduct their activities including work, school, shopping, and medical centers. The final tab asked respondents to provide demographic information and their travel habits.
The survey respondents represented 80+ zip codes, were mostly African American, between the ages of 26 and 60, and fairly evenly split between male and female. When asked about the current travel habits, a vast majority of the respondents indicated that they primarily travel on the bus or MetroLink. Respondents indicated that they perform most of their day-to-day activities in the areas of Downtown St. Louis in Missouri and East St. Louis, Fairview Heights, Belleville, and O’Fallon/Shiloh in Illinois.
Based on responses to several questions and additional comments, respondents seemed to value safety/security, hours of service, and frequency of service. Respondents indicated that they would benefit most from expanded hours of service and more frequent service. Those respondents who do not currently use transit to travel indicated that increased safety and expanded hours of service could potentially lead them to riding transit in the future. Respondents also indicated that better connections to other services and/or expanding to new coverage areas would also lead them to utilize transit more.
The results of this online survey indicate that respondents value safety and security on transit and desire for more investment in frequency, adding new routes, and expanding hours of service. In addition, when asked which groups would benefit from more transit service in St. Clair County, respondents indicated that both commuters and seniors would benefit from more service.