BART riders give their system its highest marks ever


BART riders give their system its highest marks ever

BART riders have given their transit system its highest customer satisfaction marks ever!

According to a new customer satisfaction survey, which BART released today, an unprecedented 93% of BART riders say they would recommend BART to a friend.

Furthermore, almost nine out of ten riders say they are satisfied with BART service. That turns out to be a higher positive mark than what Americans gave to the computer, travel and movie industries in the latest Gallup poll (August 2004).

BART credits much of the success to an improved customer experience, high on-time performance and the recent completion of the $1.2 billion Renovation Program.

Even as the tough economic times have forced BART to streamline the agency, employees have still been able to improve customer satisfaction ratings in 43 out of the 44 "target areas" that BART surveys.

Those areas include improving the ticket machines, fare gates, and maintaining a nearly 95% passenger on-time performance.

"A good deal of thanks goes to our workforce," said BART General Manager Tom Margro.  "Even while BART faced the worst economic downturn in our 32-year history, the employees stepped up to the task of improving the rider experience."

BART also believes that riders are giving the system high marks for maintaining its high-frequency, highly-reliable service during these challenging times.

Another key factor was the recent completion of the $1.2 billion Renovation Program, which riders helped fund through their fare dollars.

In 1998, overall customer satisfaction was at its lowest level ever, 74%. At the time riders gave BART lower marks for its poor performing fare gates, ticket-vending machines, elevators and escalators.

But late last year, BART completed its 10 year, $1.2 billion renovation program, which included overhauling most of its train cars, escalators and elevators as well as replacing all of its fare gates and ticket machines with brand new, easy-to-use equipment.

"Another main reason BART's satisfaction ratings skyrocketed was because customers are thrilled with the new fare equipment and the highly-reliable, revamped escalators and elevators," said BART Board President Joel Keller. "We'd like to thank our riders for not only helping to pay for the renovation program, but also being patient through all the construction."

Every two years, BART commissions an independent survey, which asks riders how they feel about everything from train service and on-time performance to ticket vending machines. This most recent survey was completed in the fall of 2004.  More than 6,100 randomly-selected riders participated.

"We truly value customer feedback," said Aaron Weinstein, department manager of marketing & research.  "It helps us set priorities and improve service to our customers."

Survey participants were also able to enter a drawing for a grand prize vacation to Maui, sponsored by Aloha Airlines and Castle Resorts & Hotels. The winner of the November 16, 2004 drawing was Ken Obata from Danville, CA.