In 2009 San Joaquin RTD conducted a thorough analysis of its transit services. This study focused on the customer’s needs and included an in-depth survey of RTD riders and travel habits. The study outlined a public outreach plan that included community meetings and customer input.
The objective of the Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) is to create the best transit network possible for RTD customers within RTD’s available budget. The analysis will help to maximize the impact of taxpayer funding for transit by gaining better knowledge of our riders, improving efficiency, and directing transit investment where it is most needed.
The COA was formally adopted by the RTD Board of Directors in March 2010. This plan is available to the public in the link provided above. The following is more background information that will help answer some frequently asked questions of RTD staff:
What is a COA?
COA stands for Comprehensive Operational Analysis. It is an in-depth study of RTD’s transit system, jointly funded by RTD and the City of Stockton, to identify strengths as well as opportunities for improvement. During this study, the following issues were addressed:
- Who are RTD’s current and potential customers?
- How is the overall system performing and what are areas for improvement?
- How can RTD best serve its markets within its operational and financial capacities?
Why are RTD and the City of Stockton doing a COA?
Both the City of Stockton and RTD recognize a need to review operational efficiency to provide the best service possible for our customers. This effort completed the following efforts:
- Address current and future transit needs of San Joaquin Valley residents
- Evaluate performance of current RTD services and consider new innovative transit options
- Address how RTD should respond to current economic and environmental challenges
- Develop a network of transit services that are financially sustainable in both today’s economy and into the future.
What are the goals of the COA?
The goals of the COA are to improve RTD’s customer travel experience by reducing travel time, improve service frequencies and connections where possible, and to introduce new and innovative transit options. Successful implementation of the COA will result in improved transit services for the San Joaquin Valley.
How will the COA study RTD and its customers?
The COA studied RTD’s transit services including Metro Express, Local, Intercity, Commuter, Trolley, and Hopper routes using the following information:
- Current performance of the system and existing opportunities to improve services for current and potential customers (2009)
- Counts of RTD ridership at every stop on every trip of every day (2009)
- Survey of RTD customer travel patterns and demand (2009)
- Measures of RTD on-time performance, service, reliability, and customer travel times (2009)
Who makes up the COA team?
- RTD Customers
- RTD Staff
- City of Stockton
- San Joaquin Valley residents and visitors
How was the public involved?
RTD staff and independent consultants conducted public outreach throughout the COA process, from April to August 2009. The outreach process included:
- On-vehicle and online surveys
- Public forums throughout RTD’s service area
- Public meetings at various committees and public forums