On 02/11, I spent the night taking out one of my best friend’s for their 21st birthday. I eventually hopped on the Long Island Rail Road & took an express train home in the wee hours of Thursday morning. On the ride home, I noticed a few copies of “Train Talk” laying on a few seats. For those who don’t know, “Train Talk” is a publication tailored towards LIRR customers.
I picked up a copy to read while I was listening to music on my mp3 player. The front page story was about the recent results of the customer satisfaction survey. The headline read, “Train Crew Courtesy Tops Customer Satisfaction Survey”. The crew courtesy category was the highest rated in the survey with an overall ranking of 95%.
On that note, let me share the press release the Long Island Rail Road issued via e-mail about these results on 02/11:
MTA Long Island Rail Road received high marks from thousands of customers who participated in the Railroad’s 2008 Customer Satisfaction Survey, including a resounding 95% satisfaction rating for train crew courtesy.
On board service categories garnered the highest approval ratings with Courtesy of Crew leading the way, followed by Safety from Accidents (94%), Heating During Cold Weather (93%), Overall Comfort of Trip (93%) and Train Interior Maintenance (93%). Also, 90% expressed satisfaction with LIRR’s on-time performance, which reached a best ever 95.14% in 2008 while the Railroad served a record number of passengers.
The results are based on a survey conducted by Abt SRBI Inc. in September and October of more than 9,000 peak and off-peak customers. Eighty nine percent of those customers said they were satisfied with the overall quality of service provided by the LIRR.
MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander said: “Improving customer service is one of the MTA’s top strategic priorities, and I am pleased that MTA Long Island Rail Road is receiving such high marks from its customers. Along with record-breaking LIRR on-time performance, railroad and subway mechanical reliability that is 20 times better than it was two decades ago and significant ridership gains across all our agencies, these results show that our region’s commitment to the MTA capital program is improving the quality of life for millions of our customers every day.”
LIRR President Helena Williams said: “Our Customer Satisfaction Survey is an important barometer of what the riding public thinks about the Long Island Rail Road. I am delighted to see our train crews recognized for courteous service and that the hard work of our maintenance departments is clearly adding to the comfort and reliability of our trains. We have to keep up that good work and do better in those areas that the survey shows need improvement.”
For example, many customers found fault with the cleanliness of the restrooms in Penn Station with only 58% of those surveyed finding them acceptable. Williams noted that a $5 million renovation of the restrooms now underway should go a long way toward addressing valid customer complaints.
The results are what one would expect from LIRR customers. The only category result that caught my attention was the 95% ranking for crew courtesy. The reason I say this is from personal experience & others I have spoken with or read about, the attitudes of the crew are mixed. While everyone has their good & bad days, the kind of attitude you deal with varies a lot. I have found this to be the case in my history of 11 years riding the LIRR. In the end, maybe some of us are luckier than others when dealing with crews. However you slice it, 95% is a pretty strong satisfaction rating.
xoxo Transit Blogger