1. Home
  2. Press Releases

MTA Announces Launch of 2021 Customer Satisfaction and COVID Travel Survey

New York City Transit
Updated March 16, 2021 3:00 p.m.

Survey Tracks Customer Satisfaction and Feedback; Latest 2020 Results Showed 76% of Customers Appreciate MTA’s Unprecedented Disinfecting Regimen 


Q1 2021 Survey Available Through March 28 


Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that the first ‘Customers Count and COVID Travel Survey’ of 2021 is now available for customers to complete. The survey is used to gauge New York City Transit customer satisfaction by receiving feedback on the customer experience for subways, buses, Staten Island Railway and paratransit services. The scope of the survey covers a wide array of topics, ranging from wait times to station cleanliness, to safety concerns. The survey has taken on a new meaning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic as the Authority has undertaken unprecedented measures to keep customers safe.  

In addition to current customers, the MTA is using the survey to hear from customers who have not been in the system since the pandemic. The unprecedented measures that the MTA initiated last year were developed with input from survey results from both current and lapsed customers. The MTA is continuing to welcome customers back while instituting programs that address their safety concerns. 

“When transit ridership comes back, New York comes back,” said Sarah Meyer, MTA Chief Customer Officer. “The MTA is doing everything we can to ensure our customers return to public transportation. We are launching Customers Count to learn what we are doing right and what we can do to make your commute better—and taking direct action as a result.” 

Customers can take the survey now by visiting new.mta.info/mta-customers-count and by completing it, they are entered into a drawing to win free subway or bus rides.  After the survey closes on March 28, customers can sign up to receive an email when the next survey opens; each time a survey is completed customers can win more free rides. More importantly, the survey provides valuable feedback that is used by the MTA to make improvements.  
Results are then weighted to represent the racial, ethnic, and income composition of city transit customers. The survey itself is comprised of a series of questions to determine customer travel patterns post-COVID, reasons for using or leaving the system during COVID, wait times, the cleanliness of the system, and other customer-centric experiences. 

The last Customers Count survey was conducted between Sept. 21 and Oct. 4, 2020, and achieved a high response rate with more than 20,000 completed surveys. Invitees included previous survey participants, customers who participated and provided contact information at community events or meetings, and any customer that has reported concerns or commendations. 

The latest survey results revealed customers appreciate the subway’s deep-disinfecting regimen and were overall satisfied with the cleanliness of the system. Disinfecting efforts have led to more satisfied customers and have helped them feel safer while riding; about three times as many current customers are satisfied than are dissatisfied with cleanliness of trains. Approximately 76% of customers agreed or strongly agreed that cleaning and disinfecting makes them feel safe when using transit. Satisfaction with the cleanliness of trains increased by about two percentage points to 55% in Q3 from 53% in 2020 Q2. 

Customers have noticed that trains are cleaner since the May 6, 2020 start of the four-hour overnight subway system closure for disinfection, with 72% stating that trains are cleaner since the closure (the overnight closure is now two hours). Overall service satisfaction is 53%, a substantial increase from the same quarter in 2019, when satisfaction was 46%, and an even greater increase from the same quarter in 2018 when overall service satisfaction was 34%. 

The MTA does a robust outreach campaign to invite participation and ensure a statistically valid sample. Outreach has included messaging in subway cars, buses, and media, as well as digital screens in stations, on buses, and MetroCard vending machines. Customers are also notified through the Authority’s social media channels. 
Results are published in the reports of the NYC Transit and Bus committee of the MTA Board once available.