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Citizens Talk Back to Metro

One of the things that keeps my column in business is that citizens often aren't satisfied by the responses they get from transportation agencies when they have complaints or questions.

That was the tone of several comments to Metro board members at the transit authority's town hall meeting Wednesday night in Rosslyn. Board chairman Gladys Mack and board member Chris Zimmerman acknowledged that customer service has been a longtime problem. They noted that citizens who call with complaints often wind up with an explanation of why bad thing is happening, rather than an indication that the problem will be addressed.

The quality of customer service is a concern to the board, they said, and it's one of the key reasons they picked John Catoe of Los Angeles to be the new general manager. He intends to make customer service a priority, Mack and Zimmerman said.

Metro has done a better job of communicating during the past two years. The town hall sessions are an example of that. The format has improved, too. Now, you can walk up to a microphone and ask your question directly to the board members, rather than having to write it down and submit it to a moderator.

There's another town hall coming up Tuesday night in Rockville, at the third floor county council hearing room, 100 Maryland Ave. It begins with an open house from 6:30 to 7 p.m., followed by two hours of questions for board members and staff.

Another example of improved communication is Metro's series of online chats with riders. There was one today with Metro Parking Manager Ray Stoner. Here's a link to a transcript.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 1, 2006; 8:03 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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