Jan 2, 2009

Service Changes and Customer Communications

Durham Region Transit has a notice on the web about  schedule changes. The effective date for these changes have been advertised as January 4, 2009. The vast majority of so called changes were implemented back in November 2008. What is happing here is that DRT's web page has been adjusted to catch up with reality.

Now, don't expect to see any notice on your local bus stop about the changes. DRT has a track record of failures when it comes to communicating with passengers. DRT did the same thing on July 28, 2008 when major changes occurred to the Ajax mid-day service. It also occurred last year back in January, when complete routes were remove from the system.

"We have to be more effective in our communication plan with our customers," Mr. Meagher said.

Yes, that is Phil Meagher, Deputy General Manager Operations, being quoted from the February 12, 2008 issue of the local Metroland newspaper.  Very little, or nothing has changed in customer communications since he declared that DRT would do something.

How are people supposed to know what the changes are and why they were made if they don't communicate this information to the customers. How could most customers know that the Pickering routes didn't start at the GO Station on the first run if they don't communicate this information? How will the Beach customers on that changed run know there is a change if they don't tell them what it is and why? How will the Taunton 915 customers know about the changes of the starting times for 1/2 hour and 15 minute service in some time frames. An explanation about the changes should be available. Passengers should not have to go over the the schedules with a fine tooth comb in order to discovery what's new.

The Toronto Transit Commission  and York Region Transit  are a couple of transportation service providers that supply explanations about route and schedule changes. The TTC is known for posting route changes at the bus stops before they occur.

We must remember, that not everyone has access to a local newspaper or to the internet.

Related links:

Customer communications take a back seat


Anonymous said...

Andy, what is the change in the beach schedule ?

Andy said...

Hard to spot the changes eh. You never typed your name in so I assuming you are a DRT employee.

This is the point I am trying to make. Unless you are given a hint you won't know what to look for.

The rush hour departure and arrival times at the Go Station remain the same except for the 19:30 changes to 19:31. The bus will sit there and block the Hardwood bus in. The rest of the changes take place on route on every cycle. Why? I don't know.