The City of Maricopa Express Transit system, or COMET, has started a survey among its senior passengers, a move officials hope will help improve service and ensure transparency within the agency.
The city, with the help of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee, designed the survey to get a level of input far beyond typical rider satisfaction. The new survey asks specific questions concerning pick-up locations and the frequent destinations of its senior riders.
It also asks why seniors would possibly be more likely or less likely to use the service.
“The purpose of the survey is to better understand the public transportation needs of the senior population (over age 50) in Maricopa,” said Transportation/Transit Planner David Maestas.
He said the department wants the survey to better help them satisfy current transit demands while preparing the system for future population growth.
“The overall strategy is to grow COMET slowly and carefully in order to ensure reliability and sustainability, key elements in transit operations,” Maestas said.
Between June of 2015 and June of 2016 the COMET system catered to a little more than 4,700 riders. By June of 2017 COMET is projecting an annual ridership of around 6,800, an increase of 43 percent.
COMET offers a Route Deviation Service or fixed-route service that uses 11 stops throughout the city and operates Monday to Friday, 7-10 a.m. and 2-5 p.m., visiting each stop six times.
However, plans are in the works that could expand operating time from 7 a.m.to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday by October 2017, if approved by the city council and Arizona Department of Transportation.