NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- New Jersey Transit on Wednesday launched a new comprehensive communications initiative aimed at improving the customer experience.
The effort, entitled "Engage. Inform. Improve." focuses on addressing customer needs, providing more timely information, and improving all customer touchpoints -- including announcements, station and facility conditions, and the onboard experience.
"From day one, I've been committed to restoring New Jersey Transit for the commuters of New Jersey," Governor Phil Murphy said. "The improvements underway in this initiative will have a real and tangible impact on the lives of nearly one million daily riders who rely on trains and buses every day."
The initiative is expected to roll out in three phases, according to a press release:
--Engage: NJ Transit will actively engage customers for their input and listen to customer needs to identify areas in need of improvement. This includes proactive survey engagement and greater social media engagement.
--Inform: Customers will receive more proactive and effective communications from NJ Transit in real time during service disruptions, will provide easier access to critical information, and inform customers of efforts to improve operations.
--Improve: NJ Transit will continue to implement new ideas to improve the customer experience as part of a continuous feedback loop and develop and deploy new technology to strengthen operations and improve service.
Officials say NJ Transit has been taking action to improve service and communications since Gov. Murphy signed an executive order examining NJT operations in January. These efforts include:
--A procurement is currently underway for the purchase of 113 new multi-level rail cars.
--182 new 45-foot cruiser buses continue to arrive this year as part of a five-year delivery contract.
--An upgraded mobile app, which features customized transit alerts sent to customers via push notifications. Additionally, customers can access Apple Pay and Google Pay to make purchases through the app.
--The upcoming creation of a Customer Experience unit that will be responsible for monitoring and assessing all facets of the customer experience, from the time a customer enters a station until they leave their destination point.
--The installation of new touch screen interactive information kiosks at Newark Penn Station, Hoboken Terminal, and at Harborside and Pavonia stations along the HBLR as part of a pilot program.
--Successful recruiting efforts to attract additional bus operators and locomotive engineers. Since January 1st, more than 300 new bus operators have been hired and more than 5,000 applications for locomotive engineers have been received.
--Four new locomotive engineer training classes are underway with 13 engineers anticipated to graduate in May 2019, and three additional classes graduating before the end of 2019.
--The average cycle time on procurements has been reduced by 30-percent, compared to 2017 and by 40-percent when compared to 2016.
--In the process of upgrading smartphone devices for train crews, which will provide real-time service information to share onboard with customers.
New Jersey Transit has made progress on the federally mandated Positive Train Control installation and is now at approximately 93 percent completion.