We all talk about how great transit is and how we should all abandon our cars to take mass transit. But many of us do not. Why? Sometimes it’s because transit is not available. Sometimes it’s because it is inconvenient. A lot of times it’s because of the poor customer service/overall experience.
The last time I took Metrorail, the train was late, dirty, and packed full of people. One very large lady (I use the term loosely) shoved me and screamed that I needed to move further in (I was already touching the person in front of me), while someone else sneezed in my face. I then had to wait 15 minutes to change trains (they’re supposed to come every 6 minutes). I could have driven to my destination much faster, for about the same cost, and without the headache and future cold.
I just read a great article on thestar.com, “The Genuinely Better Way” that talks about San Francisco MUNI’s new Connected Bus and how it hopes to provide better customer service. This bus is a pilot program that MUNI and Cisco have developed that provides passengers with wireless internet, information on other vehicles in the system, and green stats on the bus’s environmental impact.
I certainly hope all public transit agencies start to think more aggressively about customer service/customer experience!
Other articles on the Connected Bus: