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Bus Stop Intercept Surveys

A study done by the Transit Lab team quantifies the relationship between perceived and actual waiting times experienced by passengers awaiting the arrival of a bus at a bus stop. Understanding such a relationship would be useful in quantifying the value of providing real-time information to passengers on the time until the next bus is expected to arrive at a bus stop. Data on perceived and actual passenger waiting times, along with socio-economic characteristics were collected at bus stops where no real-time bus arrival information was provided, and the relationships between perceived and actual waiting times were estimated.

Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) serves the Ohio State University campus community, which includes over 50 thousand students, resulting in a monthly ridership exceeding 120 thousand passengers. The operation consists of 15 to 20 40-foot buses running simultaneously on several routes of lengths ranging from 2 km to 8 km on and in the areas surrounding campus. The data for this study was collected by surveying passengers waiting at bus stops for CABS buses. Three students surveyed 83 passengers over a period of approximately one year, from spring 2001 to spring 2002. A surveyor would go to a bus stop, note the arrival time of a passenger and later asked her or him a series of questions. A response rate close to 100% was achieved. In addition to the surveyor’s name, date, and weather conditions, other observed variables were recorded for each interviewed waiting passenger.