North Jersey Record – October 12, 2018
On August 23, 2018, the North Jersey Record published an op-ed on transit in New Jersey that called for a new vision for the mass transit systems serving the tri-state region. Here is my vision, based on my experience of having created and chaired the PATH Riders Council for the past four years. Let’s make the customer experience of transit rival that of the interstate highway system: Simple signage, standardized wayfinding, seamless payment, and a streamlined network that gets you from Point A to Point B.
In many cities, one of the vexing impediments to a superior customer experience stems from the existence of multiple transit providers. Each agency has developed its own methods of interacting with its customers. From the customer perspective, especially for people who travel beyond the boundaries of an individual agency’s services, the resulting experience can feel disjointed.
Multiple maps and journey planning tools make the customer do all the work to see how transit can get them from point A to point B. Discoordinated schedules lead to long waits for transfers, making a transit trip less desirable. Widely varying design standards for signage and wayfinding increase confusion for the customer, especially in unfamiliar environments. Balkanized fare payment systems require a customer to buy multiple tickets and passes for a single journey. Continues…