Riders give NJ Transit a ‘C’ in first commuter satisfaction survey

On a scale of 1 to 10, riders gave NJ Transit an overall score of 5.2 in the agency’s first customer satisfaction survey, the agency reports.

Bus riders (5.5) were slightly more satisfied than rail customers (4.5).  Access Link, a paratransit service for disabled commuters, got the highest marks (7.5) and light rail was next with a score of 6.5.

Customers weighed in on 32 categories. Surveys were conducted online and in the field this spring; nearly 19,000 of NJ Transit’s approximately 428,000 weekday riders responded, according to NJ Transit, the nation’s largest statewide public mass transit system.

Declaring a “new era of transparency and accountability,” the agency’s executive director, James Weinstein, said in a statement that “we are committed to holding up the Scorecard as the standard by which we get measured  by the people who use our system every day.

“We want to be better than simply ‘acceptable’ and are committed to moving the needle to that end.  We also encourage the continued participation of our customers in these surveys to let us know how we are doing,” said the executive director.

Although NJ Transit received middling grades, some 67 percent of surveyed customers said they would recommend the service to relatives and friends. And 67 percent chose NJ Transit over their personal vehicles, according to the agency.

The agency promised to post detailed results at njtransit.com.

nj transit scorecard logo

Here is the statement from NJ Transit:

NJ TRANSIT POSTS FIRST CUSTOMER SURVEY RESULTS ONLINE

Customer ratings in 32 categories published on njtransit.com as part of new ‘Scorecard’ initiative

NEWARK, NJ — Customers responded and the scores are now in.  NJ TRANSIT today revealed the results of the agency’s first customer satisfaction survey as part of “Scorecard,” an initiative designed to provide the public with a clear measurement of how the corporation is performing.

“Today marks the first time in NJ TRANSIT history that we are publishing the results of a customer satisfaction survey, launching a new era of transparency and accountability,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein.  “We are committed to holding up the Scorecard as the standard by which we get measured by the people who use our system every day.”

The surveys, which were conducted online at njtransit.com and in the field this spring, asked bus, rail, light rail and Access Link customers to rate NJ TRANSIT on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is unacceptable, 5 is acceptable and 10 is excellent.  Customers considered 32 attributes of the system related to facilities, service, vehicles, communications and the overall experience using NJ TRANSIT.  In addition, customers were asked to identify the three most important aspects of NJ TRANSIT service among the items they rated.

Of the approximately 428,000 customers who use NJ TRANSIT service on a typical weekday, NJ TRANSIT received nearly 19,000 responses to the online and field survey.

Survey Results

Customers rated their overall satisfaction with NJ TRANSIT service as “acceptable” or “satisfactory,” with a score of 5.2.  Of the customers surveyed, approximately 67 percent said they would recommend NJ TRANSIT to a friend or relative, and 63 percent choose to use NJ TRANSIT even though they have a personal vehicle available to make their trip, acknowledging that they make a conscious decision to use NJ TRANSIT service as their preferred method of transportation.

Customer satisfaction ratings on NJ TRANSIT’s four service modes are as follows:

Bus customers rated their overall satisfaction with service at a 5.5 and noted on-time performance, fares and the weekday evening schedule as the most important areas for NJ TRANSIT to improve.  Nearly 261,000 people use NJ TRANSIT’s interstate and local bus system on a typical weekday, representing 61 percent of all NJ TRANSIT customers.

Rail customers gave NJ TRANSIT an overall score of 4.5, ranking on-time performance, fares, mechanical reliability and the handling of service disruptions as the most important items for NJ TRANSIT to improve.  Approximately 132,000 customers ride NJ TRANSIT trains on a typical weekday, comprising about 31 percent of all NJ TRANSIT customers.

Light Rail customers gave NJ TRANSIT an overall satisfaction rating of 6.5, indicating that fares, security and seating availability are the most important aspects of service to improve.  About 33,000 customers use NJ TRANSIT’s three light rail lines on a typical weekday, making up about eight percent of total NJ TRANSIT customers.

Access Link, NJ TRANSIT’s paratransit service for customers with disabilities, was given an overall rating of 7.5 and serves approximately 3,000 customers on a typical weekday.

Detailed survey results are available at njtransit.com.

NJ TRANSIT will use the survey results to target specific improvements needed to boost customer satisfaction.  Surveys will be conducted quarterly so NJ TRANSIT can track results, with the next survey scheduled to launch later this month.

“Thanks to this invaluable input from our customers, the Scorecard will be a living, breathing document that puts the spotlight on the areas where NJ TRANSIT most needs to improve,” said Weinstein.  “We want to be better than simply ‘acceptable’ and are committed to moving the needle to that end.  We also encourage the continued participation of our customers in these surveys to let us know how we are doing.”

NJ TRANSIT plans to reveal its first overall Scorecard, which makes key statistics and performance data readily accessible to the public for the first time, at the regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, July 13 at 9 a.m.  This month’s meeting will be held at the Frank R. Lautenberg Station at Secaucus Junction.

About NJ TRANSIT

NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.



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