Community Transit Issues RFP For Market Research Strategy

2018-12-04 by EPR Staff

Community Transit Issues RFP For Market Research Strategy

Community Transit is seeking qualified Market Research Consultants with the technical skills, knowledge, experience and capacity to develop and deliver a holistic research strategy to support agency decision making to accomplish its goals. Historically, Community Transit has conducted several standalone surveys instead we are seeking for a strategic partner to assist us moving forward for a more efficient and effective process.

Community Transit seeks a qualified Vendor to develop and deliver a holistic research strategy to support agency decision making to accomplish these goals: 

  • Increase understanding of our customers and the communities we serve.
  • Increase public awareness and perception of our services.
  • Increase use of our services and programs.


As a public agency, we have many things we would like to know from our customers and constituents. We are looking for a Vendor that can pull together the different research needs throughout the agency and recommend the best way to execute a research plan to minimize customer fatigue and consolidate research opportunities where appropriate. Community Transit offers different types of transportation products to its community. These include Vanpool, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Double Tall buses, multiple bus services, and DART Paratransit services. Over the next few years, Snohomish County will see significant in growth to this region.

Scope of Work:

We are looking for a Vendor to provide the following services:


Develop a strategy that allows Community Transit to best gain information from our customers and constituents to support data-driven decisions. We need a strategy that incorporates our multi-layered research needs including recurring research that allows us to capture trends in our relationship with customers and the public (perceptions, satisfaction and awareness), as well as more one-off transactional research to support specific initiatives. These research results will be shared agency-wide and incorporated with other data gathered by the agency to help make decisions on programs, services and activities.

Some examples of current and anticipated research needed to include within a developed strategy would be (full descriptions available in Appendix A):

  1. Customer Satisfaction Survey – An annual survey to help us set a baseline, measure, track and understand how happy or unhappy our customers are with their Community    Transit experience.
  2. Brand Awareness Assessment – A survey every 3 years of consumers (general public and current customers) to gain a fundamental understanding of how the Community        Transit brand and its sub-brands are perceived in the community.
  3. Community Awareness Survey – A survey every 3 years to help us measure, track and understand community awareness and favorability of Community Transit and its services.
  4. Market Segmentation Study – A recurring assessment to help us set a baseline, measure, track and understand Community Transit’s riders and non-riders to determine the best ways to market and develop services to meet the needs of different audience segments.
  5. Fixed Route On-Board Survey – A system-wide, onboard survey every 3 years of customers on all fixed route bus services to better understand our rider demographics and trip characteristics. The data from this survey needs to meet federal requirements.
  6. Vanpool Survey – An annual survey of vanpool customers to learn more about their experience to help inform program design and operation.
  7. Employee Transportation Needs Assessments – A research tool to help us determine the transportation needs, barriers and personal motivations of employees at Snohomish  County worksites participating in the Commute Trip Reduction program, with the goal of developing strategies to encourage travel behavior change. The developed research strategy would consider these and future needs, consolidate strategies and/or questions where necessary, and plan an annual calendar of research.


After alignment and agreement on the strategy, we will need expertise in designing valid and appropriate research methodology. We seek a Vendor that can execute and manage research projects, coordinating with other qualified Vendors as needed, to ensure timelines and objectives are met. The Vendor will present a plan for each individual research project to include recommended research methodology, data collection tools and methodology, recruitment, incentives, and data analysis.

Community Transit reserves the right to conduct research projects outside the scope of this agreement. The Vendor selected would be expected to coordinate with Community Transit staff and other Vendors on these efforts to ensure alignment with research strategy.


Vendor would be responsible for developing and sharing insights from each research project,  leveraging prior research and creating an annual review of insights gathered. The Vendor will also provide recommendations for the best way to store and share collected data within


Areas of Expertise

The selected Vendor should be able to demonstrate expertise in the following areas of market analysis and research methodology:

  1. Survey Development and Design
  2. Focus Group Development, Recruitment, and Facilitation
  3. Ethnographics
  4. Intercept Surveys
  5. Geo-targeting
  6. Online Research Methodologies
  7. Concept Testing
  8. Usability Testing
  9. Human Centered Design
  10. Plain Language Question Development
  11. Statistical Analysis
  12. Insight Development


  1. Research Strategy
    • Work with a cross-functional team from Community Transit to develop a holistic survey strategy;
    • Develop recommendations on the best way to execute a research plan;
    • Plan an annual calendar of research to limit customer fatigue and improve research outcomes;
    • Develop recommendations for data storage and sharing practices to improve access to data for decision making;
    • Recommend research opportunities and methodologies     that we have not thought about to optimize research efforts to meet our goals
  2. Research Design and Execution
    • Design research methods to meet agreed-upon objectives, coordinating directly with stakeholders across the agency to understand project requirements and to refine methods to ensure alignment with the holistic strategy.
    • Execute research on behalf of Community Transit and/or secure other Vendors to complete the project, coordinating with them to ensure alignment with research strategy.
    • Deliver all aspects of the research (development of research methodology/questions, recruitment, incentives, etc.).
    • Manage projects to ensure timelines and goals are met.
    • Ability to frame questions in plain language as defined by Fleish Kincaid (4th-6th-grade language).
    • Ability to translate internal jargon and concepts to customer friendly language for better feedback response.
    • Ability to develop methodologies that accommodate diverse demographics, multiple languages and physical abilities.
    • For surveys, Vendor will be responsible for:
      • Working with Community Transit to design and test survey instrument.
      • Planning and implementing data collection during a specified time frame using skilled Vendor resources in coordination with appropriate staff at Community        Transit.
      • Completing all aspects of data processing.
      • Presenting analysis of survey results in report form, and in person for questions and clarification.
      • For focus groups, Vendor will be responsible for:
        1. Identifying and securing appropriate location equipped to accommodate observation.
        2. Planning and implementing data collection during specified time frame using skilled Vendor resources in coordination with appropriate staff at Community  Transit.
        3. Completing all aspects of data processing.
        4. Presenting analysis of research results in report form, and in person for questions and clarification
  3. Analysis and Insight Development
    • Develop and share insights from each project and create an annual review of all insights gained.
    • Analysis specifics will be defined by project, but may include:
      1. Detailed report findings.
      2. Executive summary.
      3. Data files.
      4. Presentation at Community Transit meetings which may include internal stakeholder team, executive team and Board of Directors.
      5. Comparison to baseline, transportation industry, and/or other industries.
      6. Recommendations for action based on results.

Due Date:

December 19th, 2018.



MWWPR and Zeno Group have relevant experience.