As a part of the larger Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) customer researcher satisfaction program, Pivotal Research Inc. conducted a survey with DATS clients, parents, caregivers and guardians towards the end of 2021. In total, 282 respondents participated. Messaging about survey participation was provided in advance in the DATS newsletter, the City of Edmonton website and on-hold messaging. Thanks to everyone who participated.

The survey focused on client satisfaction throughout the DATS journey, as well as the impacts to the service due to COVID-19. Findings from this survey will be used to explore potential customer service improvements. Highlights from the survey are listed below.

Satisfaction with the overall DATS experience stands at 84% (2020: 81%). Respondents were particularly happy with the general safety while on board at 94% (2020: 82%), the courteousness of the operator at 90% (2020: 86%) and with operator assistance at 90% (2020: 84%). Overall, most satisfaction elements showed increased points, with the exception of reliability (on time performance) which had a slight percentage dip of 3% compared to 2020.

In terms of the booking experience, satisfaction scores ranged from a low of 70% (2020: 59%) for the wait time to ease of making a booking to 90% (2020: 89%) with the courteousness of the booking agent. One of the top service improvements requested by participants was the ability to book trips more than three days out and more availability of same day booking time slots.

Satisfaction with the pick-up and drop off experience ranged from 67% to 74% (2020: 61% to 69%). This includes timeliness with on-time pick-ups, pick-ups within the 30 minute window, and on-time arrival. Satisfaction with the total travel time was 75% (2020: 73%). When asked to share potential service improvements, the number one request was for improvements to the overall travel time (including on time-arrival and pick-ups) and decreased waiting time for clients.

Satisfaction with enforcement of COVID protocols and safety measures while on board was at 91% (note: only those who had taken DATS during the pandemic were asked). When considering non-COVID related aspects of the on-board experience, safety received the highest score at 94% (2020: 82%), closely followed by cleanliness of DATS vehicles at 93% (2020: 78%) and on-board comfort at 86% (2020: 71%).

ETS and DATS plan to launch another survey later in 2022 to track progress in these areas of improvement, and to gather additional information from our customers.