CTA Earns High Marks for Customer Satisfaction

June 22, 2017

Customer satisfaction survey shows gains in nearly all categories following six years of unprecedented $8 billion of investment under Mayor Emanuel to improve CTA

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced that according to a regional survey, 85 percent of its customers were satisfied with CTA service and 91 percent of customers would recommend the CTA—a reflection of six years of substantial investments and improvements by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. to improve the commuting experience for every CTA customer.

“A world-class city like Chicago needs a world-class transit system and I’m pleased that our commitment to move Chicago is paying off,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By investing in transit, we’re creating thousands of jobs, improving neighborhoods and increasing our city’s economic vibrancy, while attracting new businesses and jobs to Chicago.”

Under Mayor Emanuel, CTA has begun, completed or announced more than $8 billion of improvements since 2011, with unprecedented upgrades across the bus and rail system.

These investments include an aggressive modernization program of rail stations and infrastructure and new or overhauled trains and buses. Other improvements made include continued investment in technology to make commuting easier, a number of service improvements that provide more reliable and comfortable service, enhanced communications with customers, and expansion of public art across the CTA system.

“The survey results show that the investments we’ve made are making a difference with customers,” said CTA President Carter. “Since my first day in this job, I have pledged to do all we can to improve CTA for our customers, everything from making unprecedented modernization and service enhancements to really listening to our customers and hearing what they want,” said CTA President Carter. “Our customers depend upon us daily to get to work, school and leisure, and we are making the improvements necessary to provide them with the most affordable, reliable and comfortable transit experience that we can.”

The rating—the CTA’s highest since 2011 and up from 77 percent in the last Customer Satisfaction Survey completed in 2014—was part of a wide-ranging customer-satisfaction survey completed every two to three years to better understand the needs of its customers.

The 2016 survey looked at a number of categories, asking customers to rate their satisfaction in several areas. CTA scored high marks in many categories:

  • Overall satisfaction 85%
  • Willing to recommend CTA to others 91%
  • Value of service for fare paid 82%
  • Getting to destination on time 82%
  • Availability of schedule/route info 85%
  • Communications on buses/trains during service delays 72%
  • Bus operator courtesy 82%
  • How safely bus/train is operated 88%
  • Personal safety on trains and buses, stations 76%
  • Lighting at the bus stop/train station 77%
  • Appearance of bus stops/train stations 74%

Customers overwhelmingly said they approved of the CTA’s Ventra system, launched in 2014 and today featuring nearly 2 million users, and the Ventra app, launched in 2015 to provide easy fare payment on CTA, Metra and Pace. The app has been downloaded nearly 1.8 million times.

  • Satisfaction with Ventra app: 85%
  • Ease of fare payment: 90%

The survey effort was sponsored by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), which oversaw the interaction with the contractor, RSG, and aided in the development of the surveys’ design, administration, and coordination with the Service Boards.


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