February 2017 Pulse Survey

We keep track of how our riders feel about our service by regularly sending a Pulse Survey to members of our Riders Club email list.


These are the results from our first Pulse Survey. It was emailed to more than 35,000 Riders Club members and was completed 3,654 times for a response rate of about 10 percent. It was open from February 22 to March 1.

The results below are frequencies for each question. Comparisons are made between ridership type and vehicle type (bus and MAX) and are significant at the 95% confidence level.

1. How often do you ride TriMet?


Frequent Rider

Almost every day


Regular Rider

Several times a week


Occasional Rider

Couple of times/month


Infrequent Rider

Less than once/month



Never ride TriMet


2. Non-rider: Is there anything we could do to get you to ride TriMet?
rider rider rider rider rider rider rider rider

Of the 8 people responding, 3 want more service and 2 want more accessible stops.


3. Do you approve or disapprove of the job TriMet is doing?


Approve overall

Of these, 40% strongly approve and 60% somewhat approve

Strong approval from regular riders

Approval from frequent, regular and occasional riders ranged from 87% to 90%, while approval from infrequent riders was 75%

Highest approval from bus riders

89% of bus riders approved, compared to 86% of MAX riders


4. Which of our services do you ride most often?



Over half frequent/regular riders (53%)



Over half occasional/infrequent riders (56%)



This includes Portland Streetcar, WES, LIFT or other


5. For the transit service you ride most often, how reliable is it overall?
reliability scale

80% say service is reliable

82% of occasional and infrequent riders and 78% of regular and infrequent riders say their service is reliable

Bus and MAX

There was no significant difference in the responses from bus and MAX riders


6a–e. For the transit service you ride most often, how satisfied are you with our performance in the following areas?

Scale: Very satisfied; somewhat satisfied; neutral; somewhat dissatisfied; very dissatisfied; don’t know

Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
Safety on board 82% 9% 9%
Safety at stops and stations 74% 13% 13%
Safety while walking or biking to stops and stations 72% 16% 12%
Safety at Park & Rides 67% 21% 11%
Freedom from other riders’ bothersome behavior 45% 21% 34%

Responses of “don’t know” omitted; may not add to 100% due to rounding

Differences between Bus vs. MAX Bus MAX
Satisfied with safety on board 86% 78%
Satisfied with safety at stops and stations 76% 71%
Satisfied with safety while walking or biking to stops and stations 73% 68%
Satisfied with safety at Park & Rides 67% 67%
Satisfied with freedom from other riders’ bothersome behavior 51% 39%

There were no significant differences in responses based on rider frequency


6f. Do you have any comments about safety?

About half responded to this question.


commented on an issue with TriMet employees

Including not being helpful and unsafe driving


commented on an issue with stops and stations

Including other riders’ bothersome behavior, smoking and poor lighting


said they want to see more TriMet employees

Most mentioned security personnel, followed by fare inspectors


commented on issues on board

These were mostly about other riders


had no problem

MAX riders

Were more likely than bus riders to mention issues on board (20% vs. 12%) and that they’d like to see more employees (23% vs. 7%)

Bus riders

Were more likely than MAX riders to mention issues at stops and stations (15% vs. 11%) and issues with TriMet employees (13% vs. 5%)

Frequent and regular riders

Were more likely to mention issues with TriMet employees than those who rode less frequently (10% vs. 3%)


7. We are developing a new electronic fare collection system called Hop Fastpass where you tap a pre-paid card, similar to a gift card, on a ready to pay for your ride. Before today were you aware of this new system?


of riders said they were aware of Hop Fastpass

pie chart

Frequent and regular riders were more aware than occasional and infrequent riders (88% vs. 71%).


8. How likely is it that you would recommend TriMet to a friend or coworker?

Overall NPS Score:


This question is known as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and can range from -100 to +100. To calculate this score, “promoters” (9–10) are subtracted by “detractors” (0–6) and then divided by total respondents, with the score shown as an integer, not a percentage. This score can then be compared to similar agencies.

Bus riders

Were more likely than MAX riders to recommend TriMet (+30 vs. +23)

Frequent and regular riders

Were just as likely to recommend TriMet (+27)


9. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

About a third responded to this question, and the top answers fell into these categories:


Requests for increased, expanded and faster service


Related to fares (including Hop Fastpass)


Issues with reliability, schedules and transfers


Requests for vehicle, stop and station improvements


Requests for better communication, signage and schedules


Requests for improved customer service and driving

Bus riders

Were more likely than MAX riders to request increased service (33% vs. 22%)

Frequent and regular riders

Were more likely than infrequent and occasional riders to mention the need for better communication (10% vs. 4%)