NFTA managers should try riding the trains and buses
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority recently announced a new way for management to keep current on the experiences of Metro Bus and Rail customers, i.e., the riders. It’s about time! Over the years, I have spoken regularly with my fellow transit users about the disconnection from the administration of the system in the building on Ellicott Street to our daily direct contact as we travel from place to place.
Under the plan, members of the management staff will spend time at transit centers and at busy stops/stations, observing and interacting with customers. I can’t think of a better way for them to educate themselves. Wait a minute, maybe I can. They could actually ride the train and bus occasionally, especially during times of change.
When a new set of fares is instituted, when a rail station is temporarily closed and replaced with a shuttle bus, when a weather event causes delays, when snow and ice start to accumulate at the very spots where people get on and off – these are all examples of atypical times when the NFTA management could get an eyeful and an earful. This method has its advantages over a written survey with preselected questions and response choices.
I don’t expect every NFTA manager to be able to plan his or her daily schedule around Metro’s routes and schedules, but I do appreciate their effort to have more direct contact with the products and services they offer to the public.