• Kyodo


Efforts by a city in Iwate Prefecture to improve local bus services via customer input on cleverly designed questionnaires is garnering positive feedback on social media sites.

The city of Takizawa has been distributing questionnaires that resemble bingo cards to passengers in the hope of gaining greater input on operating schedules and, in turn, improving traffic management strategies.

The questionnaire comprises seven questions, including frequency of use and purpose of the journey. To make it easy to fill out, the cards include holes that can be punched out, eliminating the need for pens and pencils.

Prior to the cards, transportation officials had difficulty getting the public to participate in surveys.

“I am glad this system has helped us draw attention (to our efforts) given that participation in a survey is rather bothersome,” a municipal official said.

The new system has swiftly gained popularity among social media users.

Following a survey conducted in early November, one participant posted a photograph of the questionnaire on Twitter accompanied by a comment praising the concept.

“What a wonderful idea,” the comment read. It was later retweeted more than 20,000 times.

Other Twitter users also praised the system, calling it “smart” and voicing a willingness to participate in the survey.

The idea was the brainchild of a consultancy firm hired by the city.

Similar polling systems have already been adopted by other municipalities, but Takizawa introduced it this year for the first time.

City officials said the new polling system is also much simpler than conducting interviews, reducing their workload.

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