Here’s what Augusta Transit is doing wrong (and right)

Augusta transit
Augusta transit(wrdw)
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 10:46 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta Transit on Tuesday released some key findings of a recent survey to determine needs.

Chief among the findings is that the Tobacco Road corridor needs service and that buses need to take electronic payments.

Preliminary analysis of the survey reveals:

  • 95% of nonriders/choice riders have a driver’s license.
  • Half of transit riders do not have a driver’s license.
  • Augusta Regional Airport and Tobacco Road are the top two unserved destinations that should be served by transit. One in five transit riders and choice riders selected Diamond Lakes Regional Park as a destination that should be served by transit
  • Transit does not go where and when a nonrider/choice rider needs transportation is the primary reason for not using transit in Augusta.
  • Three in 10 transit riders would walk if transit were not available. One in 10 transit riders would cancel their trip if transit is not available.

Digging deeper into the results

The survey found 52% of transit riders would prefer to purchase tickets with credit/debit cards, while 54% of nonriders would prefer to purchase tickets online or by mobile app.

A bus stop closer to the home or destination is the top ranked service improvement for 60% of choice riders. Later operations is the most requested service improvement for 50% of riders.

The main reason people don’t use the buses is because they don’t go where people need them to go and don’t operate when people need them, the survey found. One in four people believe the buses take too much time.

Most transit and/or choice riders use or own smartphones, and choice riders use or own a variety or electronic devices to a greater extent when compared to transit riders, the survey found.

The survey found 25% or one in four transit riders indicated that they cannot pay more than the current $1.25 single ride fare, while over 50% are prepared to pay a fare of $1.75 or higher.

One in five transit rider respondents represented households with annual incomes $10,000 or less . One in four of choice rider respondents represented households with annual incomes $75,000 or more.

The majority (41%) of transit riders rated the transit service as good/acceptable, while 9% (very poor) and 16% (poor) taken together represented the service rating by one in four transit riders.

“Augusta Transit gives a big thank you to the 900+ persons who participated in the survey,” the agency said in a statement. “The results provide invaluable input guiding the strategic development of Augusta Transit.”