BART overall rider satisfaction up 16 percentage points in latest survey


BART overall rider satisfaction up 16 percentage points in latest survey

Customer satisfaction ratings among surveyed BART riders are up 16 percentage points from the last survey two years ago. In the most recent survey, 72% of riders reported being satisfied with BART, compared to 56% in the 2018 survey. 81% would recommend BART to a friend (up from 74%) and 66% agree BART is a good value for money (up from 55%).

The results of the 2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey were presented to the Board of Directors on Thursday, January 28th. BART has conducted a comprehensive survey of its customers every two years since 1996.

“The survey results are very encouraging in the sense that we have put in a lot of effort to ensure riders are safe and feel welcome on our system,” said BART Board President Mark Foley. “We need every single rider in this time of financial crisis and the gain in customer satisfaction should serve as an incentive for us to work even harder.”


The survey asks riders to rate a variety of attributes related to service and customer experience. There were increases across almost all attributes compared to 2018, with the exception being declines in ratings related to hours of operation and frequency of service, which have been cut due to the pandemic.

BART’s COVID-related response efforts were of highest importance in target issues and were rated above average by riders. Target issues of highest importance receiving lower ratings were centered around quality of life.

To address quality of life issues, BART has created a new Senior Manager of Social Services Partnerships to help implement the Strategic Homeless Action Plan. The plan also calls for the hiring of 20 crisis intervention specialists beginning later this year and to continue the Transit Ambassador Program.

In response to COVID-19, BART has been running long trains and offers weekly crowding data to help with social distancing. BART is using hospital-grade disinfectant in stations and on trains. Crews are also wiping down station touchpoints multiple times a day and using electrostatic foggers on each car every 24 hours. BART has a face covering mandate, offers hand sanitizer in every station and converted all stations to the contactless Clipper card payment system.


Another major takeaway from the survey is that the demographics of riders have significantly shifted during the pandemic.

Results found:

  • 75% of riders identify as non-white, compared to 65% in 2018.
  • 51% of respondents reported household income under $50,000, compared to 26% in 2018.
  • 53% of BART riders don’t have a vehicle, up from 31% in 2018.
  • If BART were not available, nearly 1 in 4 (23%) of riders surveyed would not make the trip.

“The survey data underscores the importance of BART as an essential service for our underrepresented riders, and our riders with less financial resources and fewer transit options,” said BART General Manager Bob Powers. “The survey results give us guidance on where we need to focus more attention and resources. There is much work to do to regain confidence in transit and to win riders back. We must focus on enhancing cleaning efforts, increasing the presence of safety staff, and keeping trains running as frequently as possible during this global pandemic.”

Read the Board presentation here.

The full Customer Satisfaction Survey Report will be finalized and posted, including sortable data, in March.