2014 Customer Satisfaction Survey Results

This past Friday, the MTA released the results of its 2014 Customer Satisfaction Survey. Here are the details:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today released results of its annual customer satisfaction surveys showing a continuation of a gradual increase in satisfaction with the New York City Subway that has been underway since 2010, when the MTA began tracking satisfaction for all MTA services using the same rating scale for the first time. Overall satisfaction with New York City Buses, the Long Island Rail Road, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels remains essentially unchanged in comparison with recent years.

Satisfaction with Metro-North declined in the wake of a year marked by a series of challenges. Metro-North is taking numerous well-documented corrective actions to prevent disruptions and accidents of the kind that took place in 2013, to restore long-term reliability to schedules and ultimately to regain the confidence of its customers.

Highlights of customer satisfaction results follow for each MTA service:

New York City Subway

Overall, 78% of subway customers reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied with service, an increase of two percentage points from the prior year. Overall satisfaction levels have increased each year since 2010, when overall satisfaction with the subway was 71%. The subway has the highest level of satisfaction with the value for the money of any MTA service, at 74%. The increased satisfaction was recorded despite the temporary closing of two subway tunnels for extended periods of time for Superstorm Sandy-related repairs.

Among the key findings:

Ridership growth from more customers riding more often in both rush and non-rush hours: The number of customers who report that they travel primarily during rush hours decreased for the fourth consecutive year, dropping to 39% in 2014, from 49% in 2010. This is matched by a commensurate increase in the number of riders saying they ride equally during rush and non-rush hours. At the same time, satisfaction with “keeping the subway from getting too crowded during rush hours” increased to 51% in 2014, up from 43% in 2013. The improved rating of rush hour crowding can be attributed to improved and stronger management by train crews and supervisors. Subway ridership increased 1.8% during average weekdays and 3.2% during average weekends, during the 12-months ending May 2014.

Stations: Key subway station attributes have increased significantly since 2010. Station cleanliness is now rated at 74% satisfied, up 10 points from 2010. Clarity of announcements on platforms is also rated at 74% satisfied, up 11 points since 2010. Information in stations about unscheduled delays increased the most, with 71% of customers reporting they are satisfied in 2014, up 15 points since 2010. New York City Transit has mounted an aggressive campaign to bring real-time arrival information, including countdown clocks, to stations over this time period.

Other highly-rated subway attributes included:

• Convenience of subway stops (90% satisfied)

• Personal security in stations before 8 p.m. (87% satisfied)

• Comfort of temperature on subway cars (84% satisfied)

• How fast the subway gets you where you want to go (83% satisfied)

• Courtesy and helpfulness of subway conductors (83% satisfied)

• Working condition of MetroCard Vending Machines (83% satisfied)

“Operating a 24/7 system as ridership continues to rise puts an extremely high premium on reliable service, because it’s the only way to move so many people quickly and efficiently,” said New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco. “We continue to make every effort to sustain this reliability by investing to preserve, protect, and make necessary upgrades to our infrastructure, and we are pleased that customers recognize those efforts. However, more needs to be done and we hope to build on this momentum moving forward.”

New York City Buses

Seventy percent of customers of local buses in New York City reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied. This measure has been essentially stable since 2011, when there was an identical rating.

Among the key findings:

Value: A record 73% of local bus customers said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the value of local service relative to the fare paid.

Real-time bus information: Those who report being satisfied with “knowing how far away the next bus is” has increased significantly in tandem with the spread of the MTA Bus Time™ real-time bus tracking system. This year, 56% reported being satisfied with this metric, up significantly since 2012, when it was 48%. Further gains are anticipated in the future. The Bus Time system expanded to Brooklyn and Queens only three months before the surveys were completed.

“Installing enhanced GPS hardware has enabled us to better track our buses and provide more seamless service and the MTA Bus Time™ application provides customers with real time arrival information,” said Darryl Irick, New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Buses &President MTA Bus Company. “This new technology is yet another way we have improved service and customers appreciate when they know when that bus will show up at their stop.”

Long Island Rail Road

Overall satisfaction of Long Island Rail Road customers was 84%, identical to last year and the highest level of satisfaction for any MTA agency.

Praise for Digital and Real-Time Communications: An equal amount of customers, 84%, reported being satisfied with the LIRR’s new Train Time app, which provides real-time train arrival estimates and track assignments. Satisfaction with LIRR’s social media offerings, including its Facebook page and Twitter feed, is increasing in tandem with growing use of those services. Seventy-eight percent of customers who had used it reported being satisfied with the LIRR’s Facebook page, and 77% reported satisfaction with the LIRR’s Twitter feeds.

Parking Security: Satisfaction with the security of customers’ cars while parked at their home station achieved a record high satisfaction rating in 2014, of 80%.

“We are pleased that our customers are recognizing our ongoing efforts to improve customer communication through initiatives like the LIRR Train Time app for smart phones, which has been downloaded more than 180,000 times since its release last year,” said LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski. “We also recognize that we have more work to do to try and improve our On Time Performance while not compromising our safety standards. Our goal is to remain customer focused in all we do and try to exceed customer expectations across the board.”

Metro-North Railroad

Metro-North’s overall satisfaction declined 20 points from last year, to 73%. MTA management was expecting a decline in satisfaction of this magnitude. The surveys were completed after a year in which the railroad experienced several incidents including a fatal derailment, and impacts to schedules and on time performance. Customer satisfaction with on-time performance, schedules, communications and seat availability all declined by at least eight percentage points.

Customer satisfaction with Metro-North’s services on the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley Lines, which were not impacted by service disruptions, were statistically similar to last year.

Among good news for Metro-North, satisfaction with restroom cleanliness continues to increase in tandem with continued roll-out of the new M8 railcars on the New Haven Line, and the satisfaction with the railroad’s Quiet Car program, surveyed for the first time this year, scored a high, 87%. Customer satisfaction with Grand Central Terminal continues to be very high, at 96%.

“This year’s survey results are sobering but not surprising given the challenges Metro-North has faced during the last 18 months,” said Joseph Giulietti, President of Metro-North Railroad. “Our mission is to provide safe, efficient transportation and when we do that, customers are satisfied. We are rebuilding Metro-North and much progress has been made but much more needs to be done. We must and we will regain the trust of our customers.”

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Overall, satisfaction among motorists using the MTA’s seven bridges and two tunnels has remained stable for the past five years, with 83% saying they were satisfied or very satisfied this year. Consistent with previous years, travelers are most satisfied with the following service attributes: E-ZPass performance, appearance and cleanliness, lighting, and safety and security.

The Henry Hudson Bridge ranked first with customers at 95%. Respondents who used the Cross Bay Bridge rated it the second highest facility with 93%, followed by the Marine Parkway Bridge and Queens Midtown Tunnel with 92% and 89% respectively. The Bronx-Whitestone Bridge received the lowest rating among the nine crossings at 72%. The lower score can be attributed to ongoing construction that will both upgrade and maintain the iconic crossing, which turned 75 this year. Road work should conclude next year and will provide customers with a smoother crossing and decades of improved service.

Key finding:

All Electronic-Tolling is Viewed Favorably: 95% of Henry Hudson Bridge customers are satisfied with their travel experience, a strong validation of the MTA’s implementation of all‐electronic toll payment at the bridge, which replaces lines of motorists waiting at toll plazas with toll payment by mail.

“For the second year in a row, customers have responded enthusiastically to All-Electronic Tolling at the Henry Hudson Bridge,” said Bridges and Tunnels President James Ferrara. “The feedback is loud and strong that the top priority among customers is crossing our facilities as safely and quickly as possible.”

When I first read the results, the first word that came to mind in regards to portions of it was bullshit. I find it hard to believe that nearly 80% of the people were satisfied with subway service when all you have to do is ride it a lot & see & hear people complain.

Another portion I question the legitimacy of was 83% being satisfied with Metrocard Vending Machines. Seems like every time I enter a station, at least one is not accepting bills or credit cards. However I do find it convenient that it does not talk about the condition of the turnstiles which routinely are a pain to swipe through.

However the biggest crock has to be 84% of riders being satisfied with the LIRR. I reside on Long Island & have used the LIRR dating back to 1998 & I can personally attest that the service seems to get worse every year while the costs rise time & time again. The trains tend to be overcrowded due to not having enough service. Some of this could be blamed on not having a third track on the main line but that excuse can only go so far.

The best thing I can recommend is to take these results with a grain of salt especially considering agency-specific surveys were completed by more than 30,000 customers & others being done by random telephone survey. Seriously that is barely a fraction of daily ridership so it is easy to see the results don’t match reality.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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FASTRACK Returns To Broadway Lines

FASTRACK will once again be returning to the & in Manhattan. Here are the details:

On Monday, November 17, MTA New York City Transit’s FASTRACK program returns to Manhattan stations along the NQR lines. For four consecutive weeknights from Monday, November 17, to early Friday morning, November 21, NQR trains will not stop at stations in Manhattan. N trains run in Queens and Brooklyn only, Q trains are rerouted via the 6 Av D line in Manhattan to/from the 57 St F station, and R service ends early in Manhattan and Queens each night.

Travel alternatives:

1. Use nearby stations on the 8 Av AE, 7 Av 12, 6 Av DF, and Lexington Av 46 lines instead.

2. Take the 7 for service between Queens and Manhattan.

3. Make key transfers between trains at Queensboro Plaza 7N, 5 Av/42 St-Bryant Pk 7DFMQ, Jay St-MetroTech AFN, and Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr 24DNQ.

4. N trains make local R stops between Court St and 59 St, Brooklyn.

NQR trains will operate as follows:

N trains operate in two sections (Queens and Brooklyn) as follows:

1. Between Ditmars Blvd and Queensboro Plaza.

2. Between Coney Island-Stillwell Av and the Court St R station.

Q trains rerouted via the D line in Manhattan as follows:

1. Manhattan-bound: After DeKalb Av, Q trains run via the D to 47-50 Sts, then to the 57 St F station, the last stop.

2. Coney Island-bound: Trains originate at the 57 St F station then run via the D to Brooklyn. Regular Coney Island-bound Q service resumes at DeKalb Av.

R train service ends early in Manhattan and Queens as follows:

1. The last R train to Bay Ridge-95 St leaves Forest Hills-71 Av at about 9:15 p.m.

2. The last R train to Forest Hills-71 Av leaves Bay Ridge-95 St at about 9:20 p.m.

3. In Brooklyn, R shuttle service between 36 St and Bay Ridge- 95 St starts early.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Service Diversions 11/14/14

I am in a rush at the moment so I can’t do a week long update on the service diversions page. So instead, I will just post this entry with all the planned work for this weekend. Over the weekend, I will update the regular page with work for next week.

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From 11:30 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, 2 trains will notnrun in Brooklyn. Take the 5 instead. 2 service operates between E 180 St and Chambers St,nand are rerouted via the 1 between Chambers St and Rector St. 5 trains run betweennFlatbush Av-Brooklyn College and E 180 St.

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From 11:45 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, 3 trains will not run in Brooklyn. Take the 4 instead. 3 service operates express all weekend between Harlem-148 St and 14 St.

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From 11:45 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, 4 service is extended to New Lots Av. 4 service operates all weekend between Woodlawn and New Lots Av, replacing the 3. 4 trains will run local in Brooklyn.

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From 11:45 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, 5 trains arensuspended in both directions between Eastchester-Dyre Av and E 180 St. Free shuttle busesnoperate all weekend between Eastchester-Dyre Av and E 180 St, stopping at Baychester Av,nGun Hill Rd, Pelham Pkwy, and Morris Park.

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At all times until February 2015 6 trains skip Zerega Av and Buhre Av in both directions. For Service To/From Zerega Av, use the Bx4 or shuttle buses to connect between Zerega Av and Castle Hill Av; free transfer is available with MetroCard. For Service To/From Buhre Av, use the Bx8, Bx24, or shuttle buses to connect between Buhre Av and Middletown Rd; free transfer is available with MetroCard.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, Brooklyn Bridge bound 6 trains run express from Hunters Point Av to 3Av-138 St.

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From 11:30 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, 7 trains are suspended between Times Sq-42 St and Queensboro Plaza. Use EFNQ trains between Manhattan and Queens. Free shuttle buses make all stops between Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av and Queensboro Plaza. The 42 Street S shuttle operates overnight. Q service is extended to Ditmars Blvd from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 15, and from 9:00 a.m. to
7:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 16.

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At all times until January 2015, Inwood-207 St bound A trains skip 104 St and 88 St. For Service To/From 104 St: To 104 St, take a Brooklyn-bound A train to Rockaway Blvd and transfer to an Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd-bound A. From 104 St, take an Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd-bound A train to 111 St or Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd and transfer to a Brooklyn-bound A.

For Service To/From 88 St: To 88 St, take the Brooklyn-bound A to 80 St and transfer to a Far Rockaway-Mott Av or Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd bound A. From 88 St, take a Far Rockaway-Mott Av or Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd-bound A to Rockaway Blvd and transfer to a Brooklyn-bound A.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, November 14, to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, November 16, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, November 16 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, Queens-bound A trains run express from 145 St to 59 St-Columbus Circle.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 15 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, Inwood-207 St bound A trains run local from Canal St to 168 St.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, Brooklyn-bound A trains skip 104 St and 111 St. For service to this station use the Q112 bus, or take a Brooklyn-bound A train to Rockaway Blvd and transfer to a Lefferts Blvd-bound A. For service from this station, take a Lefferts Blvd-bound A train to Lefferts Blvd, transfer to a Brooklyn-bound A.

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From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, November 15 and Sunday, November 16 Euclid Avbound C trains run express from 145 St to 59 St-Columbus Circle.

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From 10:45 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, Norwood-205 St bound D trains run express from 145 St to Tremont Av.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, Coney Island- Stillwell Av bound D trains are rerouted on the N line from 36 St to Coney Island-Stillwell Av.

From 11:00 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, D trains run trains run local between DeKalb Av and 36 St.

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From 9:45 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains are rerouted via the M line from 47-50 Sts/Rock Ctr to Roosevelt Av.

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From 5:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, November 15, and Sunday, November 16, J trains are suspended between Hewes St and Essex St in both directions. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Hewes St and Essex St, stopping at Marcy Av. For direct service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, consider using the AC or L via transfer at Broadway Junction.

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From 5:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, November 15, and Sunday, November 16, M trains are suspended between Myrtle Av and Essex St in both directions. Take the J, L and/or free shuttle buses instead. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Hewes St and Essex St, stopping at Marcy Av. For direct service to/from Manhattan, use the L via transfer at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs.

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From 11:00 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, N trains run local from DeKalb Av and 59 St.

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From 10:45 p.m. Friday, November 14 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, November 17, 57 St-7 Av bound Q trains run express from Kings Hwy to Prospect Park.

From 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday, November 15, and from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, November 16, Q service is extended to Astoria-Ditmars Blvd.

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From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 15, to 6:00 a.m. Monday, November 10, the 42 St S Shuttle operates overnight.

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Service Diversions 11-07-14

Get a head start on your weekend travel plans as I have just updated the Service Diversions through all of next week.

Make sure to follow @TransitBlogger on Twitter by clicking the button in the sidebar as I am using it more often. Also if you are into indie music make sure to follow @IndMusicReview & @SurgeFM!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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FASTRACK Returns To The Lower East Side

Lower East Side residents should take note that FASTRACK will be returning next week on the F Train. Here are the details:

On Monday, November 10, MTA New York City Transit’s FASTRACK program returns to the F line between Greenwich Village in Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. For four consecutive weeknights from Monday, November 10, to early Friday morning, November 14, F trains will not stop at B’way-Lafayette St, 2 Av, Delancey St, East Broadway, and York St. F trains are rerouted via the A line in both directions between W 4 St and Jay St-MetroTech.
Travel alternatives: Free shuttle buses, D and J trains provide alternate service.

In Manhattan:

1. Free shuttle buses operate between B’way-Lafayette St and East Broadway making station stops at 2 Av and Delancey St.

2. Use free shuttle buses to connect with D service at B’way-Lafayette St.

3. Transfer between D and F trains at W 4 St.

4. Additional connections with F service at Fulton St are available via the 4 local (to/from Bleecker St) and the J (to/from Delancey St/Essex St).

In Brooklyn:

1. Free shuttle buses run between York St and Jay St-MetroTech, where F service is available.

2. Transfer between free shuttle buses and F trains at Jay St-MetroTech.

3. York St customers may also use the High St A station, where F service is available.

4. Transfer between D and F trains at 4 Av-9 St.

5. Beginning at 10:30 p.m. D trains will run local in Brooklyn

xoxo Transit Blogger

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