Transporting Cities’ mission is to review and promote world class Passenger Experience in transport. We do this by undertaking system visits, reviews and contributing to the development of new initiatives to ensure that the passenger is at the heart of transport decision-making.
It is only fair that passengers are provided with an experience worthy of the fares they pay.
Transporting Cities is a Member of The Rail Innovation Group
Transporting Cities articles are written by Liam Henderson
Transporting Cities sets out to identify, review and encourage enhancements to Passenger Experience across public transport networks.
We believe in promoting world class Passenger Experience. To that end, we review global examples of well planned transport services, identifying those aspects which have most impact on the passenger and highlight where simple deficiencies create unnecessary obstacles to a smooth, simple journey experience. We remind operators that basic communication and support can make a real difference, in this respect, the operator has general jurisdiction over a station or vehicle, and can influence what a passenger sees in this space, it does not have such a level of influence over a passengers’ phone. Once the passenger reverts to looking at their phone, the operator has lost the opportunity to direct a passenger.
We build upon these aspects in our Passenger Experience Audits where we are able to support operators in their efforts to improve the journey experience and welcome more passengers onto their services.
Our Focus – Passenger Experience
Transporting Cities is not a travel blog: It focusses on specific aspects of a public transport journey which impact upon the end-to-end journey experience. If public transport is to thrive and support our sustainable future, it must meet expectations that are set out in glossy advertising and slick marketing campaigns. It is for this reason that we continually review the passenger experience offered by transport providers and publish our impression on this site.
Most passengers think of ‘the railway’. They do not care who operates the service, who is responsible for litter collection or who is responsible for station information, it is simply ‘the railway’; therefore, if one aspect is not acceptable, this is a reflection on the whole network. Passengers will extrapolate their experience to rail travel in general.
Our reviews focus on those aspects that are build into systems, we focus on:
Understanding the system
Signage and way-finding
End-to-end journey experience
Staff knowledge and attitude
Social media responsiveness
Power, Wi-Fi and the space to work
The ease of buying a ticket
Passenger communication and response to service disruptions
Concessions and retail offering
As the population is pushed to use public transport over the private car, it is only fair that passengers are provided with an experience worthy of the fares they pay. Technology has provided the modern operator with the tools to provide exceptional, seamless service throughout the journey, we look for operators who excel as incorporating these tools to provide a transport service fit for the 21st Century.
We know that railways have to find the balance between securing operational efficiencies and providing a customer-centric approach. At the same time that operators are attempting to automate many functions, passengers are looking for a personalised experience with a human face. Our reviews often see the impact of this compromise.
Why we Refer to Passenger Experience
Many transport organisations use the term Customer Experience; at Transporting Cities, we prefer Passenger Experience. Our reason for this is clear – customers have a choice, passengers do not. Whether you are sitting on an aeroplane waiting to take off or sitting on a train stuck at a red signal, you have no choice at that moment and are entirely dependent upon the transport operator to keep you informed, reassured and supported. Calling a passenger a customer is failing to live up to this responsibility – a customer can walk away, a passenger cannot.
With this increased level of responsibility, transport operators have a duty to provide an enhanced level of service to a passenger, one that must continue through the journey until the passenger has reached their destination – this is providing true Passenger Experience.