The Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), in cooperation with the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo), is conducting a survey on all local bus routes in the region from September through November 2016 in order to inform transit planning.
During this period, interviewers with tablet computers will ask randomly selected passengers questions about their transit trips. For further details, please refer to the frequently asked questions below.
What is the Onboard Transit Passenger Survey?
The survey is a study of how people use transit to travel in the Indianapolis region. Questions focus on trip behavior and demographics. Your responses will help the MPO and IndyGo better understand travel patterns and choices of transit riders. This information will be used to support transit planning and operations activities.
How often are these studies performed and why now?
Onboard transit passenger studies are typically conducted every five years. The region’s last survey was conducted in 2009. The MPO is federally required to perform an updated study this year.
Who is conducting the study?
The MPO hired a contractor to conduct the onboard transit passenger survey, with the cooperation of IndyGo. The people you see on the bus administering the surveys are contracted employees. The data, however, belongs to MPO and IndyGo.
How do I take the survey?
Interviewers with tablet computers will randomly select passengers to take the survey. (The tablet computer tells the interviewer who to pick based on a random number formula.) Random selection is necessary to ensure that the data are statistically valid. While volunteers are not allowed to take the survey, we appreciate your participation if you are selected.
How long will it take to complete the survey?
Your individual survey will take about five minutes to complete.
Why do you need to ask about personal information such as income? What does that have to do with how I use transit?
IndyGo is required to collect specific demographic data about passengers including race, household income, and language proficiency in order to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This information is submitted to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approximately every five years. By understanding ridership, planners are better able to predict how recommended service improvements will perform. Please keep in mind that personal information is removed from all records and the results are aggregated, a measure that ensures your privacy and anonymity.
What if I am asked to participate in the survey more than once?
If you are selected more than once, we would appreciate your participation each time you are selected.
How will I know that the interviewer is legitimate?
Official survey staff members wear a uniform consisting of a blue vest with reflective stripes and a surveyor identification badge. They carry tablet computers and will never ask you for information such as your social security number or bank account information.
What if I have a complaint or a concern about a specific interviewer?
Please note a description of the interviewer, and email the project manager at the email below. Please include all relevant information (date/time/location of encounter, reason for concern), so that the matter can be investigated.
Is the survey available online?
No. Since the survey asks about the specific transit trip, only passengers who are on transit on the survey day are being selected for interviews.
Are people with disabilities included in the survey?
Yes. All persons riding transit during the survey period are included in the random selection methodology. Interviewers can assist customers with disabilities in completing the survey, or they can provide a paper version of the survey, the option to complete it later by phone, or a handout with details about how to request accommodation.
Is the survey available in other languages?
Yes. Bilingual staff who speak Spanish will be available on transit where they are most likely to be needed. Additionally, customers speaking Spanish can choose to complete the survey later by phone in their respective language.
How will these data be reported?
Published reports will summarize the survey data, but will not disclose Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
Will I have access to the data or the final findings?
A summary report will be available when the study is complete in early 2017.
Is the data shared with or sold to anyone other than the MPO or IndyGo?
No. To ensure the anonymity of survey respondents, personal information will not be included in the final data files.
Will my route be eliminated or changed based on my information?
This information will allow the MPO and IndyGo to implement enhancements to the system that make it more effective, reliable, and efficient. The ultimate goal is to better meet travelers’ needs.
When will the project be completed?
Surveying of all transit lines is expected to be finished by late fall 2016.
Who is paying for the survey?
The MPO receives transportation planning funds from the federal government that are being used to pay for the survey.
How do I know that my personal information is safe?
The survey consultant and the MPO are required to protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information (PII). Key provisions include storing PII on secure computers, protecting it from unauthorized use, and destroying PII after an agreed-upon time period.
Also, as previously noted, published reports will summarize the survey data, but will not disclose PII.