September 30, 2007

LINKS 2007 Rider Survey

LINKS logoIn response to Councilmember Diana Souza's questions at the June 18, 2007, City Council meeting, San Leandro LINKS Executive Director Gordon Galvan and Valerie Brock presented the results of the 2007 ridership survey at the September 17, 2007, City Council meeting. Galvan noted that December 2007 would mark the sixth year of the LINKS shuttle, which provides free transportation to and from BART and west San Leandro businesses during the morning and afternoon commutes. Galvan noted that LINKS provides service for less money per passenger than any other Bay Area transit agency (based on 2005-2006 fiscal year data).

In fiscal year 2005-2006, the total program cost for LINKS was $374,884 and 173,509 passengers used the service. That comes to a cost of $2.16 per passenger, and according to a table that compares these numbers to agencies like BART and AC Transit, LINKS is the most cost-effective.

According to the survey, two-thirds (67%) of LINKS passengers work for businesses in the business improvement district. The LINKS shuttle is funded by taxes paid by businesses in the business improvement district and by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Galvan previously served on the San Leandro City Council from 1994 to 2001.

The table and executive summary of the survey are included below.

San Leandro LINKS 2007 Shuttle Rider Survey Executive Summary
  • The population surveyed is different from last year. In 2007, both morning and afternoon riders were surveyed. In 2006, only morning riders were surveyed.
  • Two-thirds of shuttle riders work for employers in the BID and another 11 % work locally, presumably for small employers in West San Leandro.
  • 78% of riders use the shuttle to commute to work.
  • 52% of shuttle riders live in San Leandro or Oakland.
  • 84% ride the shuttle every day.
  • Six out of ten ride the shuttle in the morning and the afternoon.
  • Most ride BART or AC Transit before using LINKS; 12% walk from home.
  • If LINKS were unavailable, most would switch to AC Transit, but 11 % would start driving alone.
  • 84% say that losing LINKS would present a financial hardship for them.
  • For the fifth consecutive year, riders are well-satisfied with the service; 87% rated the LINKS shuttle good or excellent.
  • Driver courtesy is the strongest element of the service; the schedule is the weakest element.
  • The fact that the shuttle is free is most important to riders, followed by the schedule and frequency.
  • The best way to improve the LINKS service is to run the shuttle more frequently.
  • BART riders live throughout the Bay Area, but are concentrated in the East Bay.
  • One-third of BAR T riders live within 3 miles of their station of origin. They are most likely to take the bus to get to the BART station.
  • Most BART riders have been using the shuttle for an average of one and a half years.

LINKS - A Comparison of Transit Agencies in the Bay Area - Fiscal Year 2005-06

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at September 30, 2007 11:51 PM | TrackBack

Okay--I can already see this cost-effectiveness survey had Galvan's crooked hand manipulating thing--LINKS only has 1 employee? Does that mean Galvan is driving the busses all the time by himself?

And, it's not an apples to apples comparison anyways--other transit agencies have to collect money from passengers (which actually costs money); and serve a larger geographic area.

And the stats:
- 84% say that losing LINKS would present a financial hardship for them. and
- The fact that the shuttle is free is most important to riders, followed by the schedule and frequency.

are not significant.

There's no such thing as a free ride--this program is funded by a crooked business district that has driven businesses out of's basically a way for the town's many social service users to get a free ride to their freebies; while lining the pockets of an ex-council man and positioning liberal Tony Santos at a run for higher office...

Posted by: Frank at October 1, 2007 8:56 AM

I believe that the "one" employee refers to one full-time employee. The drivers are likely employed by MV Transportation, which appears to have been contracted for the LINKS shuttle service, judging from the contact information on the LINKS web site.

Posted by: Mike Katz-Lacabe at October 1, 2007 1:19 PM

Exactly proving my point--Galvan is subcontracting the drivers but most likely not including their cost in his figures. That report needs to be more specific because it doesn't seem like an apples to apples comparison to me.

Liberals love using the cost-effectiveness argument for freebies and social programs. The same argument is why we as a nation spend millions treating drug addicts (the VA has a whole department dedicated to cost-effectiveness of treating heroin addicts); instead of spending that money on education grants--for people who are doing what they're supposed to.

Posted by: Frank at October 1, 2007 7:22 PM
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