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Passengers Give the Train High Marks

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According to a passenger survey conducted between April 15 and May 10, more than 95% of New Mexico Rail Runner Express passengers are satisfied with the overall service. This number is consistent with a passenger survey that was conducted two years ago.

Survey Results:

  • According to the survey 93.3% of passengers rank customer service as good or excellent and 95.1% rank staff courtesy as good or excellent.  When it comes to ticket prices, 81.5% of passengers believe the pricing structure is good or excellent and another 15.8% believe it is fair.
  • Passengers also rank safety very high in the most recent survey.  The results show 98.8% of passengers feel safe on the train, 95.3% feel safe at the stations and 89.4% feel safe in the parking lots.
  • More than 40% of passengers responding to the survey indicated that they use the train several times a month with nearly 30% saying they use it five days a week.  When asked what factors prevent them from riding the train more often, the number one response was they already ride as often as they can.  Other top responses to that question were the train doesn’t fit their schedule, there is not enough late night service or the travel time is too long. The main reasons people are riding the train are because it costs less than driving and it is less stressful.
  • As part of the survey, the New Mexico Rail Runner Express asked respondents about their starting point and ending point of their commute.  The survey also asked the ideal time to reach their final destination in the morning and the evening.  Staff members are still analyzing those results and will use the data to determine if schedule changes are needed in the future.
  • Over half of the survey respondents use a monthly pass with 37.6% of passengers using a day pass.  Only about 11% use a one way or annual pass.
  • According to the survey, more people are using the train for entertainment, tourism and leisurely travel than in the past. In 2013, 68.4% are using the train to get to work or school and nearly 27% are using the train for entertainment.  When the last survey was conducted in 2011, 86.3% were using the train for work or school and only 13.1% were using the train for entertainment purposes.
  • According to the survey, 42.7% of passengers use a bus or shuttle connection to get to their destination and 41.6% walk.  Of those that use a bus or shuttle connection, nearly 80% say it is convenient. 
  • If the New Mexico Rail Runner Express was not available 57.5% of passengers said they would drive alone in their car. 18.3%% said they would carpool and 12.5% said they would not have made the trip. 
  • According to the survey, the busiest station for boardings is the Los Ranchos/Journal Center Station followed by the Sandoval County/US 550 Station.  The busiest station for exiting the train is Downtown Albuquerque, followed by the South Capitol Station and the Santa Fe Depot.  These numbers coincide with the ridership data.

How the Survey Was Conducted:

The survey was conducted online between April 15 and May 10 with 1,934 people responding.  Passengers were given postcards on the train and encouraged them to go to the New Mexico Rail Runner website to complete the survey.  A written survey was also available to passengers who didn’t want to go online.  Those completing the survey were entered into a drawing for several prizes including monthly train passes, tickets to the Isotopes, ride passes to Cliff’s Amusement Park.  One winner received an Apple iPad.

For the first time, this survey was also open to non-riders to find out why they don’t ride.  According to the survey 36.1% were non-riders and 5.6% used to ride the train, but no longer do.  Of the 805 non-riders responding to the survey, 11.8% said the train schedule no longer fits with their schedule and about 10% say they lost their job, moved to another area or started a new job.  Another 7.8% indicated the travel time is too long to ride.  About 24.3% of the non-riders are retired. 

Over 63% of the non-riders indicated they would try the train if all fares were free for one day.  About 70% indicated they would try the train if there was a buy one, get one fare free promotion and 83% said they would try the train if they were given a free pass to use sometime in the next 30-60 days. 

According to the non-riders, the top factors that would make them consider using the train are: more weekend service, more frequent service, more mid-day service and additional late night and early morning departures.

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