Survey says: Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) riders are happy with their service and oppose major changes.
More than 85% of the roughly 2,500 respondents to a survey conducted from Sept. 25, through Oct. 16, say they are satisfied with the current level of service they recieve from SCAT. While 57% said they oppose plans to merge SCAT with Manatee County Area Transit under a private operator.
The survey began with the following statement: "Sarasota County is exploring whether a merger of Sarasota County Area Transit and Manatee County Area Transit would result in a larger and more efficient regional transit system for riders in both counties. Tell us what type of public transportation you need."
Then respondents were asked the following questions in order followed by a space for written comments:
+ Are you aware of this proposal?
+ Are you in favor of this proposal?
+ Which county do you live in?
+ How often do you ride the SCAT bus: Five times a week, two or more times a week, once a week, once a month or never or rarely?
+ Which answer most describes how you use the SCAT bus service: Work, leisure, medical, other or all of the above?
+ Are you satisfied with the current level of service you are receiving from SCAT?
A majority of respondents were regular riders, with more than 70% indiciating they use SCAT five times per week. Half of those surveyed say they use the service for transportation to work, liesure activites, medical appointments and other activities.
The survey was available online at scgov.net and on Sarasota County-managed Facebook pages. Paper surveys were distributed at SCAT transfer stations.
An Oct. 15 joint meeting between the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners and Manatee County Board of County Commissioners to discuss merger plans was cancelled due to lack of support from either county for a joint proposal.
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