August 8, 2012

NJ Transit improves customer satisfaction rating

Marking the first complete fiscal year of Scorecard, NJ Transit posted an overall customer satisfaction score of 6.0 system-wide, achieving the agency’s Fiscal Year 2012 goal with its fourth quarter results.

The results, which will continue to guide system and customer service improvements across the agency’s services, were announced at this month’s regularly scheduled NJ Transit board of directors meeting.

Scorecard, which launched in July 2011, is an initiative designed to provide the public with a clear measurement of how the organization is performing, while driving strategic decisions to improve the overall customer experience. Along with the latest survey results, the agency also announced its new customer satisfaction goal of 6.5 for the current fiscal year.

The fourth quarter survey was conducted online at njtransit.com and in the field between June 8 and June 29.  The survey asked bus, rail, light rail and Access Link customers to rate NJ Transit on a scale of 0 to 10. Customers also considered 41 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 most important aspects of NJ Transit service among the items they rated.

Of the approximately 440,700 customers who use the transit system on a typical weekday, NJ Transit received nearly 16,000 responses to the online and field survey.

Regarding customer loyalty, 76% of the customers surveyed said they would recommend NJ Transit to a friend, relative or neighbor (up from 67% from the baseline rating). NJ Transit established the baseline with the first customer survey conducted in advance of the launch of Scorecard last year.

For the fourth quarter of FY12, customers rated their overall satisfaction with the transit service as above average with a score of 6.0 — a substantial increase over the baseline rating of 5.2 — achieving the agency’s FY 2012 goal of 6.0 for customer satisfaction.

Current customer satisfaction ratings on the agency’s four service modes are:

•    Bus customers rated their overall satisfaction with service at a 6.1, higher than the 5.5 baseline rating and a low of 5.4 (2nd quarter, FY12).  The most important areas for NJ Transit to improve again included on-time performance, fares and the weekday PM peak schedule. About 270,900 customers use NJ Transit’s interstate and local bus system on a typical weekday, representing approximately 62% of all NJ Transit customers.

•    Rail customers gave NJ Transit an overall score of 5.7, a significant increase from the baseline score of 4.5 and a low of 4.1 (2nd quarter, FY12). Customers ranked fares, mechanical reliability and the handling of service disruptions as the most important attributes that need improvement.  Approximately 130,600 customers ride the system’s trains on a typical weekday, comprising nearly 30% of all NJ Transit customers.

•    Light Rail customers gave NJ Transit an overall satisfaction rating of 6.9, an improvement over the baseline score of 6.5. Customers indicated that seating availability, fares and cleanliness on board are the most important aspects of service to improve. About 35,800 customers use NJ Transit’s three light rail lines on a typical weekday, making up more than eight percent of total NJ Transit customers.

•    Access Link, NJ Transit’s paratransit service for customers with disabilities, was given an overall rating of 8.2, higher than the 7.5 baseline. Access Link serves approximately 3,500 customers on a typical weekday.

Of the 41 attributes of the system customers were asked to rate, system-wide scores increased on all but two attributes — Payment Options and NJ Transit’s website — both of which remained constant at a strong score of 7.0.

NJ Transit will continue to use the survey results to target specific improvements needed to boost customer satisfaction. Surveys are being conducted quarterly so the agency can track results, with the first survey of Fiscal Year 2013 set to be available from August 13 through August 29.

Detailed survey results are available at njtransit.com/surveyresults. In addition to the customer survey results, NJ Transit has also published final FY12 Scorecard metrics in the areas of customer experience, safety and security, financial performance, corporate accountability and employee excellence, available at njtransit.com/scorecard.

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