PSTA Increases Transit Survey Response Rates by 1765% With Text Messaging
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) uses TextMarks SMS to deliver bus arrival times in real time by text message. In addition to dynamic request/response text messages, PSTA also sends out broadcast text alerts to its riders for general updates and announcements.
In April 2015, PSTA launched a 4 week customer survey concurrently with 15 other transit agencies. The survey link was marketed through their website, email, social media and posters on the bus – all the same channels as the year before. This year, however, PSTA added SMS to their communication channels and sent out a text message to over 76,000 riders, asking them to fill out the survey.
The result? PSTA generated 4700 responses to their survey, or a 6% survey response rate, when they included text messaging. Last year, when they did not include text messaging, they generated 252 responses, or a less than 1% response rate.
“We had other transit agencies who participated in the survey ask us how we got so many responses.” said Cyndi Raskin-Schmitt, Director of Communications at PSTA. “We told them text messaging. It works!”