If you ask anyone who rides the Metro, they will tell you it's far from perfect.
"I would love it if they were a little bit more timely," says rider Ryan Wilson.
"Price is our biggest issue," says Kyle Hamilton, another rider of Metro. "Compared to other cities we've been to, it seems a little higher."
"It's really good service," says Chris Aloymora. "It reaches really far. It is kind of dirty sometimes, but it's the big city. You got to come to expect it."
Metro have heard those complaints and have developed a customer service plan. They did customer research that included surveys and focus groups of commuters. Based on the feedback, Metro identified more than 50 issues that customers said would make the experience better.
"Escalators – they're always broken down and it makes it hard on seniors," says Melvetta Dockery. "I see a lot of [seniors] look at the escalators, see they're not working and walk the other direction, or they struggle to get up."
"Especially when you're traveling the system every day, it would be a huge help for us getting from point A to B without having to carry tote bags up and down the escalators," says Eric Hines.
"We are at about 90 percent now of escalators available for customer use," says Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel. "It's largely a result of improved preventive maintenance, stuff that should have been done on a regular basis, like changing your oil in your car. That's now getting done in timely manner and it's made a huge difference."
In addition to broken escalators, riders were concerned about safety and security. So Metro is adding more lights and more officers.
"The budget calls for about two dozen, maybe a little more, officers assigned to Metrobus, and we're also staffing of the Silver Line, so the size of the Metro Transit Police will grow," Stessel says. "We're using new and innovative tactics to keep crime at a low level."
Customers also said their experience with station managers and bus operators was inconsistent.
"We're retraining 100 front-line employees on customer service, we're making improvements to SmarTrip, we're improving the lighting in stations, temperature control," says Stessel.
As far as cost, each one of the items is already in the upcoming budget, so they say it won't cause a fare increase to make these improvements.
Metro officials from multiple departments will report to the board's customer service and operations committee on Thursday of the improvements they are making. That meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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