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Riders advise on Metro scorecard

Members of the Riders' Advisory Council, the citizens panel that consults with the Metro board, has offered Metro some suggestions that could make the recently introduced Vital Signs report more useful.

In its report to the board on Thursday, the advisory council will mention these possibilities for inclusion in Metro's monthly performance scorecard:

-- Adding a measurement of "rail reliability" to the performance indicators reported.
-- Adding a measurement to show customer service complaints, by amount and/or
most frequently-reported concerns.
-- Determining the precise origins of all of the performance targets to ensure that they
are all still relevant.
-- Setting time lines to meet targets in at least a few key areas to help restore public
confidence in the system.
-- Clearly identifying recent actions taken to improve performance related to each
performance indicator and whether these have affected performance.
-- Measuring Metro's performance against peer transit systems.

The council has made some key points about how Metro could make itself more accountable to its riders. The second suggestion, the one about including a measurement of customer service complaints, echoes a comment from one of our blog readers in response to my posting asking all of you for a riders' vital signs report.

This was the comment from informedtraveller:
"My impression is that Metro excludes from its analysis the complaints that are phoned or e-mailed in to them.

"I think Metro needs to publicize these data to see what the most frequent complaints are about (for example, drivers driving while using a cell phone) and to monitor how these complaints change over time. This would be another way to measure improvements or things getting worse.

"The phone calls are (presumably) documented as they are received, which is much better than relying on the [customer] survey results because they survey results require that people rely on their overall memory and impressions for the past year or 6 months of incidents. When this is done, people misremember or forget things, whereas the complaints that are phoned or e-mailed in would be relying on actual data instead of overall impressions."

I'll say again that Interim General Manager Richard Sarles should be applauded for introducing the scorecard as a monthly performance measure. And there has to be a limit on how much can be added to the scorecard before it gets too complicated or adds so many measures we lose track of where we started.

But rail and bus riders will certainly notice that the current measures -- safety, reliability, budget performance, elevator and escalator units available, customer satisfaction rating based on a quarterly survey -- are very broad.

The elevator/escalator measure, for example, doesn't adequately address what many riders see as part of their day to day experience: The month in, month out idling of escalators at many crowded stations.

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By Robert Thomson  | July 21, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus, Metrorail  
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There's no reason to count customer service complaints. As riders get used to MetroFail, they realize that complaints are futile and stop trying.

Posted by: jiji1 | July 21, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I think jiji1 has a very valid point. What the use?

Posted by: ceebee2 | July 22, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

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