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CATA launching feedback program to hear directly from bus passengers

Scott Pohl
The Capital Area Transportation Authority's "Listening Bus" is an opportunity for riders to directly share their insights and experiences using the transit system.

Updated on January 6 at 9:56 a.m. ET

The Capital Area Transportation Authority is getting ready for an event aimed at improving its bus system. Riders will be asked to provide feedback while they’re still on the bus.

It's called “The Listening Bus” and it's a way for passengers to share their insights with a CATA representative while traveling to their destinations.

Lolo Robison, CATA’s Director of Marketing, Customer Experience and Public Information, says CATA is planning to host these sessions every other month.

“So “The Listening Bus” is at a very basic level, a forum that allows the riding public to provide us with feedback regarding our service and our performance,” she said.

This is the first time CATA will be hosting listening sessions on the bus. Robison says in the past CATA has held public forums but the feedback received at these haven’t always come directly from riders.

“They were members of the public that maybe didn't even have experience with our services,” she said. “And receiving feedback directly from our writers is critically important to us.”

By using a survey and interacting with passengers Robison says CATA employees are hoping to garner very specific and relevant feedback about the bus system.

“It really is a way to ensure that CATA gives its riders a voice with respect to route design, amenities and service quality,” she added.

The feedback collected will be used to improve services. Robison also said it will be included in the triennial review CATA undergoes with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The FTA is an agency within the United States Department of Transportation that oversees and provides financial and technical support to public transportation systems across the country.

"So what we're trying to do is make sure we give the public an opportunity to give us feedback and that we can apply those pieces of information back to service design and service quality," Robison explained.

Robison says the first “Listening Bus” session will take place Monday, January 30th, across multiple routes. For more information on additional sessions visit CATA’s Listening Bus session website here.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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