Past Year

CommuteCon 2017

View all sessions

Leveraging Surveys & Data to Influence Commuter Programming

Ma'ayan Dembo
Program Specialist, UrbanTrans North America
Playa Vista

Session Description

Program specialist Ma’ayan Dembo of UrbanTrans North America is working with the western Los Angeles community of Playa Vista to help reduce traffic congestion through the district’s Compass TDM program. The community has a dense concentration of people working in the tech industry, making it a good location for exploring technology-based TDM solutions.

Dembo has been making extensive use of commuter surveys to generate data and insights into commuter behavior. They take two main forms: digital surveys, distributed via the RideAmigos platform, to the community’s tech-savvy commuter base, and paper surveys for those with lesser access to or expertise with technology. Surveys are available in both English and Spanish.

According to Dembo, offering incentives to complete surveys helps generate better response rates. Employers qualify for incentives if they generate response rates of 65 percent or higher, and can earn further perks through a unique awards program for those who post vastly improved response rates. Employees qualify for small and large daily random prize draws, and can earn worksite prizes for participation rates above 5 percent. These strategies help generate buzz for the survey program, using word of mouth to encourage more businesses and employees to take part.

In essence, Dembo views these incentive programs as an investment in good, reliable data. Over the course of six targeted employer outreach sessions, Dembo got 85 percent of employers to participate while generating a 2016 response rate of 73 percent. This marked an improvement of 6.5 percent over the 2015 response rate, indicating that the incentive strategy is working.

Some of the key results of the 2016 survey include:

  • Average vehicle ridership during peak afternoon commuting hours have increased sharply since the Compass program began
  • Single-occupancy vehicle usage rates have also been declining over the same period, thanks in part to employer-based commuter programs
  • Since the Compass program began, Playa Vista has seen rises in both long-distance and short-distance commuting

Because the survey data indicates that concrete, identifiable trends are at work in Playa Vista, the Compass program can be fine-tuned to structure campaigns and programs that speak directly to the known needs and trends of the district’s commuter base.