MTA Long Island Rail Road, MTA Metro-North Railroad, and MTA New York City Transit reached historic highs in overall customer satisfaction in independent random surveys conducted this spring, scoring significantly higher in most categories compared to last year.
MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow said, "We provide almost 8 million rides each day on our trains, subways, and buses, and these numbers are clear proof that our customers are confident in the secure, reliable, and flexible service that we provide. These achievements also demonstrate that the capital investments we have made in support of Governor Pataki's "Master-Links" vision for public transportation in the metropolitan region are paying off for the commuting public."
Both railroads reported increases in ratings for overall railroad service. On a scale of zero to 10, LIRR increased to 7.6 from 7.3, and from 7.8 to 8.1 at Metro-North. Scores for police presence at Penn Station rose to 8.2 from 7.3, and from 7.5 to 8.1 at Grand Central Terminal.
LIRR President Kenneth J. Bauer said, "We listen closely to what our customers tell us at our outreach events, and these numbers show that we are focusing on the details of what we're told."
Commuters also showed their satisfaction with higher ratings for on-time performance with scores at LIRR increasing to 7.7 from 7.1, and at Metro-North to 8.4 from 7.9.
Metro-North President Peter A. Cannito said, "I am delighted that Metro-North customers rated service so highly. We will continue to seek customer feedback to tell us what we do well and what needs improvement. Their perspective is an essential to achieving our goal: customer service excellence."
At LIRR, commuters reported improvements in their sense of overall personal security (to 7.4 from 6.7), and Metro-North commuters increased their scores for train cleanliness (to 6.8 from 6.4). Riders on both railroads indicated that they appreciated an absence of panhandlers and homeless at Penn Station (to 7.4 from 6.8) and Grand Central Terminal (to 8.3 from 8).
Overall satisfaction on subway rose to 6.4 from 6.2. Scores for announcements regarding delays in both subways and stations increased, to 5.4 from 5 in subways and from 5.2 to 5.6 in stations. Customers gave higher ratings for subway car cleanliness (to 6 from 5.5) and the absence of scratch graffiti (to 6.3 from 5.8). Customers also greatly increased their scores for reduced crowding during rush hour (to 4.4 from 3.7).
New York City Transit President Lawrence J. Reuter said, "New Yorkers are taking the subway and buses in greater numbers and this survey shows that it's because customers feel that they are the safest and most economical way to get around town."
Subway and bus customers both gave good grades for the value of the fare, increasing to 7.2 from 6.9 for subways and to 7.1 from 6.7 for buses.
Between April and May 2002, 409 customers from Long Island, and 397 from Connecticut and Westchester County were surveyed by an independent firm on 35 performance indicators in nine categories ranging from personal security to comfort to cost. A total of 1,200 New York City Transit customers were surveyed regarding subway service, bus service, and the subway station environment.