December 6, 2010
Consult the classifieds in this issue to find 3 notices, 11 bids and proposals, and 7 job opportunities!
German Students Help Conduct Customer Service Study in Ontario
York Region Transit (YRT) in Richmond Hill, ON, operator of the VIVA bus rapid transit system and a large fixed route bus fleet, recently partnered with INIT to fly students from the Heisenberg Gymnasium [high school] in Ettlingen, Germany, to conduct a customer satisfaction survey on how well passenger information displays tell the story of where and when the buses operate.
INIT’s partnership with the Heisenberg Gymnasium began last year when students performed a similar survey with two German transit agencies. “In the past, we have worked on other projects with university students in Canada and the U.S.,” said INIT spokesperson Ann Derby. “The project presented a win-win situation for the students, YRT, and INIT.”
The students completed their report and gave their final presentation on the YRT survey in July, showing overwhelmingly positive results: 93 percent of those surveyed said they use the real-time displays, and 79 percent use them on all their trips. About 81 percent said they consider the displays necessary.
The objectives of the process were to help the students experience real-life business practices through the proposal and bid process with INIT, and for them to gather first-hand information from YRT riders about the usefulness of the passenger information displays.
The students began by distributing written questionnaires and then, over a four-day period, conducted 802 interviews of randomly selected transit users at the two largest, busiest bus terminals in Richmond Hill: the Finch GO Bus Terminal and Richmond Hill Center.
About seven out of eight survey respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the information provided by the electronic displays. Almost all agreed that the system is easily understandable, and nearly 92 percent noted the ease of display. More than four fifths praised the accuracy and reliability of the posted information.