Is it possible for a public transportation system to improve service, increase customer satisfaction, decrease fares and decrease monetary losses? Yeah, but at the same time? The Atlantic Cities says it has been done – and more than once.
Mark Aesch doesn’t appear to use slight of hand to accomplish something that MARTA riders and taxpayers would love to see, but it sounds as if Penn and Teller should be involved. Aesch accomplished this in Rochester and then in Detroit. Yes, Detroit. That Detroit.
“I think the model works in almost any location,” says Aesch. “Improving the quality of the customer experience, creating that atmosphere where the individual employee is rewarded for organizational success — that’s critical. You can do that anywhere.”
Aesch stresses improving the riding experience and weighing route usage along with the impact of a bus route to its potential riders. Based on commentary, the focus seems to be on downtown-to-suburb routes and away from suburb-to-suburb routes.
If you actually read the story, take a look at the comments, too. Not everyone was thrilled with the results.
Your homework assignment is to make recommendations on whether Georgia cities would benefit from a similar approach. For extra credit you may complain about MARTA expense or MARTA service and safety. No extra credit will be given for anecdotes.