MetroQuest: Delightful Surveys that Achieve Exceptional Community Engagement

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Dave Biggs, Chief Engagement Officer
In 2018, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), which serves one of the nation’s largest counties, began the NextGen Bus Study aimed at reimagining the bus network to better serve locals. They wanted to reach as many of the County’s citizens as possible, especially the hard-to-reach and underrepresented communities. But the traditional approach of face-to-face ‘city hall’ meetings typically only covered a narrow demographic—they would end up losing crucial input from youngsters, minorities, and lower income families. LA Metro needed an intuitive solution. Their search led them to MetroQuest, the pioneers of digital public engagement.

Using MetroQuest’s online surveys, the agency garnered outstanding response from the public: over 6,300 participants, generating over 121,000 datapoints that LA Metro could quantify and use in their plans. The insights derived from this data enabled the agency to draft an efficient bus service plan that suited the modern lifestyle of the local populace.

Today, LA Metro is one of many transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, regional planning agencies, and state departments of transportation that use MetroQuest surveys to maximize public participation in their planning decisions. “We are dedicated to connecting public agencies with the populace so that tax-paying people are engaged in the decision-making process,” says Dave Biggs, the Chief Engagement Officer at MetroQuest.

According to Biggs, public participation in the decision-making process has been declining over the last decade; face-to-face ‘city hall’ meetings have become things of the past. Today, in order to have meaningful and productive public project planning, it is crucial to have representative insights from the entire community. “We are here to rekindle the fading interest of the people in their city planning processes,” mentions Biggs. He believes that every voice needs to be heard, and that only together it is possible to build better, more sustainable, and inclusive communities. To make this happen, the MetroQuest team is reviving interest in public participation through delightful online surveys.


We are here to rekindle the fading interest of the people in their city planning processes

MetroQuest, notably, combines education and gamification in the survey software so that people can gain visibility into the public projects in their cities and make informed decisions in a matter of minutes. When surveying about future projects, planners can include powerful visuals and demonstrate potential pros and cons of the specific plans. Informative mini games built into MetroQuest surveys inform users on the impact of their choices and present them with alternatives and tradeoffs. By simplifying complex planning projects for public participation, the company brings planners and citizens onto the same page.

As a company that has rocked the public engagement survey space for over a decade, MetroQuest is continually upgrading its solutions according to insights regarding participant and client preferences. “We have deliberately modelled our surveys based on the likes and dislikes of the people,” says Biggs. For instance, 90 percent of users are likely to skip surveys that require registration credentials. MetroQuest averts this challenge by adopting alternate methods that engage participants right off the bat. The required demographic information is collected at the end when the users are already engaged in the process. Through a combination of such subtle improvements, MetroQuest is changing the perception of online public engagement surveys, augmenting the capabilities of clients’ engagement teams and ensuring public involvement success.

Moving ahead, the company recently launched MetroQuest 2020, the latest version of its online engagement software. The new upgrade is expected to revolutionize public participation during the pandemic and beyond through delightful interactive experiences. “Our main goal is to inspire people to participate in the planning processes of public projects funded by their own tax dollars,” concludes Biggs.

Company
MetroQuest

Headquarters
Vancouver, British Columbia

Management
Dave Biggs, Chief Engagement Officer

Description
MetroQuest specializes in providing digital public engagement survey solutions for public sector agencies. From early keypads to today’s leading SAAS tool, MetroQuest has remained at the forefront of digital public engagement. The company envisions a world where all people participate in the planning of their cities and have access to better places. MetroQuest, notably, combines educational inputs within its surveys so that the people can understand their choice and make informed decisions in a matter of minutes rather than sitting through hour-long presentations. Thus, by simplifying public participation in the planning of complex projects, the company brings the planners and the citizens on the same page