NJ Transit continues customer service improvements
New Jersey Transit, the third largest transit system in the U.S., is continuing its efforts to improve customer service by seeking feedback from its rail and bus customers.
In 2011, the agency launched its Scorecard initiative, which includes an online customer survey that gives riders the chance to rate NJ Transit's overall performance in several areas including communication, rail and bus comfort, parking lot safety and customer service.
Customers are also able to offer suggestions for improvement, which NJ Transit said it uses to make meaningful management decisions.
"Soliciting customer feedback and getting customer satisfaction is now a top priority at NJ Transit. We encourage people to reach out to us with emails and through customer satisfaction surveys. If there's something that we're missing, we want to hear from our customers," said William Smith, a spokesperson for NJ Transit.
One of the improvements made thanks to the customer service surveys is more accessibility to Wi-Fi. "A program has been launched to offer Wi-Fi at many train stations across the state. Currently there are 40 rail stations that are on-air, and by the end of the year, another 30 stations will be added to the network," Smith said.
In April 2013, NJ Transit introduced a pilot program for rail customers on the Pascack Valley Line that allowed them to purchase and display tickets using their smartphones. The app, called MyTix, has since been expanded to include the entire rail system.
The app was another initiative the agency launched after hearing feedback from customers.
"Instead of going to a ticket vending machine or a ticket window, you simply buy the ticket on your phone. When the conductor comes, you show it to them," Smith said.
The mobile ticketing program was expanded in September to bus routes in South Jersey, and the agency hopes to add it to bus routes in North Jersey as well.
"We've been hearing quite a bit from our customers in the northern part of the state, especially those that go into the Port Authority, to add mobile ticketing along those lines as well, and that's something we're looking to add in the near future," Smith said.
Since September, two million rail tickets have been purchased using MyTix, representing 25 percent of all sales.
NJ Transit's Quiet Commute program also continues to expand to other rail lines, after first launching on Northeast Corridor express trains in Sept. 2010. Trains arriving and departing Hoboken Terminal are the latest to implement the program.
The program requires passengers seated in the first and last rail cars on each peak-period train to refrain from talking on cell phones, disable sound features on laptops, tablets and other devices and maintain low conversations.
"We try to keep a library-type atmosphere," Smith said.
Many customers have also requested additional parking spaces at some train stations, but depending on the town those train stations reside in, that can be a challenge.
"In some areas, it can be limited just because of the infrastructure and existing building that surrounds some of our more established stations," Smith said.
NJ Transit provides almost 900,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, 12 commuter rail lines and three light rail lines.