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Rider's Almanac Blog

Crises required us to listen, learn from our community

Posted by Drew Kerr | Sunday, November 8, 2020 9:51:00 PM

From Robin Caufman, Director of Administration​

In August, we paused work on many of our projects so we could take the time to hear how you've been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd this summer. 

We didn’t know if you'd have the time or resources to tell us about your experience or the best way to reach you, so we took our time and used a variety of strategies to ask:

  • Have your transportation needs changed?

  • Have your transit-related priorities changed?

  • What’s the best way to engage and communicate with you about transit?

A big thank you to all who answered these questions, and to the operators, police officers and staff who presented these questions, distributed masks and shared information about the Transit Assistance Program during this important process. 

Together, we received more than 1,800 online and in-person survey responses — almost twice as many as we'd hoped for. Importantly, 41% of these responses came from Black, Indigenous or people of color (BIPOC), nearly matching the demographics of our pre-COVID-19 ridership. 

Here are some highlights from this work, called "Listening & Learning Through Crisis": 

  • To engage effectively, we need to use multiple strategies, provide context and meet you where you are. 

  • Feeling safe and being on time remain top priorities. Because of the pandemic, vehicle cleanliness and having a comfortable amount of space onboard vehicles have are also extremely important. 

  • While ridership is down, transit remains an essential service. Many of you told us you rely on transit to get to work, care for loved ones, get groceries and complete errands.

These lessons may appear obvious. But as this experience reminds us, we must be deliberate about listening and responding to our customers and our community. This is especially important now, with so many changes happening at once. 

Survey data is available online and can be sorted by demographic categories like race/ethnicity and how often people say they ride. I invite you to explore these findings and to continue providing feedback as we move forward.  

Learn more

Explore the data using an interactive tool

View a Listening & Learning through Crises summary report

Meet Metro Transit's outreach coordinators and find out how they can help