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October 22, 2018 2:17 am

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Interurban Transit Authority To Expand To Year-Round Sunday Service Beginning March 5

   Phyllis YffExecutive DirectorInterurban Transit AuthorityInterurban Transit Authority – 2016 Customer Satisfaction Survey RecapAt our July 19, 2016 board meeting it was agreed that a customer satisfaction survey could be very helpful for future planning and promotion of the Interurban. 
     Our last customer satisfaction survey was performed in July 1997.The main goals of the survey were for community input on possible service expansion and public opinion on the service we currently provide. The survey was advertised in the local papers, flyers around town and posters on the buses.
     There were 3,605 surveys mailed out in October with a November 15th deadline for submission. Additional copies of the survey were available on the buses for situations like more than one person per address wanted to fill out a survey or if they didn’t receive a survey.We also created an online survey through Survey Monkey with a link on our website. The survey link was sent as an email blast to the entire mailing list of the Saugatuck Douglas Area Business Association.
     The paper surveys could be returned by mail or dropped off on the bus, at our offices, at Saugatuck City Hall, Douglas City Hall, or Saugatuck Township Hall.Many of surveys included comments praising our service, others gave us great feedback about areas for us to work on.  We thank you for your input and for taking the time to complete and return the survey.The board studied the results at both our December and January board meetings and reached a decision to expand Sunday service to year-round beginning March 5 rather than our current May through October Sunday service. 
     This was not an easy decision with all of the survey selections for service expansions being separated only by fractions.Our mission is to provide safe, reliable, efficient, and cost effective public transportation for the people and the communities of Saugatuck, Douglas, and Saugatuck Township. We also factor in how to provide the most transportation for those who need it most.We will review other options offered by providers already in our area to see what services are already available to our residents for the Holland trips and work to share that information.
     We will continue to monitor our operating budget for any expanding Federal, State and local funding levels which could allow other future expansions.  At this time, our Federal funds are authorized through the FAST Act through the year 2020 and it is somewhat unknown if we should anticipate any changes from the 18.5% expense reimbursement we currently receive. 
     Michigan Transportation fund is set to receive a portion of the increase in the State gas tax and vehicle registration fees that took effect on January 1st, 2017 that may positively impact our future reimbursement percentage we receive from the state (currently 38.31%). Our local revenues come from a .5 operating millage for Saugatuck, Douglas and Saugatuck Township ($50 per year on a home with a taxable value of $100,000). The .5 mill rate is down from the .75 mill and 1.0 mill rates the Interurban collected prior to 2002. 
     Our millage renewal question will be on the ballot this fall.Our current hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 6pm.  Beginning March 1st we will stay open until 7pm Monday through Saturday and Sunday 9am to 4pm.  Fares are $1 or $.50 for seniors over 61, children under 12 and persons with disabilities. We have a wonderful staff, with many years of service, dedicated to getting you where you want to go in our communities.  You call, we come!
     If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at 269-857-1301 or pyff@saugatuckinterurban.org.  Phyllis Yff, Director COMPLETE SURVEY RESULTS We received a total of 312 survey responses, 177 paper surveys and 135 online surveys. The questions and responses are listed below:
   1.  Where do you live?  311 Responses Township - 42%, Douglas - 27%, Saugatuck - 21%, Other - 11%2.
   2. How often do you or a member of your household ride the Interurban? 309 Responses Daily - 6%, 1-4 per week - 14%, 1-5 per month - 32%, Rarely - 38%, Never - 10%3. 
   3. What Purposes do you ride public transportation for (check all that apply): 285 Responses Recreation - 35%, Shopping - 26%, Other - 19%, Work - 13%, Medical - 9%4. 
   4. Are our dispatchers helpful and polite?  277 Responses Yes - 277, No - 0  (Thanks!!)5. 
   5. Are our drivers helpful and friendly?  276 Responses Yes - 275, No - 1 (Thanks again!!)
   6.  Are our buses clean and comfortable for you?  275 Responses Yes - 275, No - 0 (and again!!)
   7.  What time do you usually ride with us (check all that apply)?  273 Responses Early Morning - 13%, Late Morning - 26%, Afternoon - 37%, Evening - 26%
   8.  How often do you have to wait more than 30 minutes for the bus to arrive?  269 Responses Rarely - 77%, less than 10% of the time - 15%, less than 25% - 6%, more than 25% - 2%
   9.  How often do you have to ride on the bus more than 30 minutes?  273 Responses Rarely - 77%, less than 10% of the time - 14%, less than 25% - 6%, more than 25% - 3%
   10.  If funding was available, what service expansion would you use the most? 269 responses** A weighted scoring method was used for this question that allowed higher frequency riders a higher valued selection. All selections were counted whether the respondants rode often, rarely or never.Year Round Sunday Service – 28.3%Weekly Trip to Holland – 28.1%Weeknights until 8pm – 22.5%Other  - 21.1%
   11.  Overall, how do you rate the Interurban Service?  292 responsesExcellent - 85%, Satisfactory - 12%, No Comment - 3%, Needs Improvement - 2%


Interurban Transit Authority To Expand To Year-Round Sunday Service Beginning March 5

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