Tuesday, June 28, 2016

So you think all that feedback from yesterday's shit show will accomplish anything?

Black holes vis-à-vis communicating with GO Transit
Special to This Crazy Train
By GO Voyageur

One of my submissions to TCT elicited the following comment from Anonymous (November 6, 2015 at 9:01 AM):
“Um... it's up to the bus drivers to clean the buses so if there's such a concern for health, they obviously don't care about their own, never mind passengers? And also has anyone written to GO directly to complain or is putting it on the internet the norm now?”

I believe enough commenters addressed Anonymous’ first concern.  Allow me to speak to the latter.

I could have contacted GO Transit directly by any of the following channels:
The problem with all those interactions is they lack transparency.  “Putting it on the internet” helps to level the playing field between corporations and consumers.  Is it a perfect solution?  No.  But, ask CJ about some classic shootouts at the Twitter corral that attempted to make things right for Metrolinx customers.

On Twitter, I engage @GOtransit on matters of interest to the corporation and possibly other commuters.  Often, my feedback GOes nowhere.  Here are some examples:

Regarding the matter of removing timetables from bus stops on Route 12 without advance notice from GO Transit, I’m still waiting for @femwriter’s “team” to respond.  UPDATE: After much negative feedback from drivers and the survey Tell us how you use GO Transit's schedules! (Let GO Know), timetables were reposted for the spring board period (2016/04/02).  However, no one from “the team” ever replied to me.

Matt Baynie, VP of Operations, replaced Paul Finnerty in March 2015, but the INFO-GO Web page wasn’t updated.  As of this writing, the Web page still contains stale data.  Why?  After the shit show of Monday, June 27, I would hazard a guess that a few passengers had a desire to ring some of those telephone numbers.

I have sent positive feedback to GO Transit via Twitter.  The following two incidents are examples:

On Sunday, September 13, the 10:27 bus from Niagara Falls discharged passengers at Burlington GO station’s platform 14.  A passenger with a white cane exited the bus and stood there waiting.  After the last passenger left the bus, the driver approached the gentleman, took him by the arm, and guided him into the station so he could catch his train.  Later, the driver told me the bus previously let passengers off at platform 12, and the gentleman had become accustomed to counting the steps into the station from there.  Platform 14 was new territory for him and he required assistance.  The driver was happy to oblige.  I felt the least I could do was share the experience with @GOtransit.

On Friday, September 25, I was at the St. Catharines bus stop waiting for the Burlington bound bus.  The 12:54 bus from Burlington to Niagara Falls arrived and discharged passengers.  The driver noted the volume of customers GOing the other way and offered to sell tickets to those people so as to expedite loading of the other bus when it arrived.  He didn’t have to do this, but he knew the bus to Burlington was running late.  Again, I felt the least I could do was share the experience with @GOtransit.

I get upset when I submit a commendation for frontline staff, it’s acknowledged by customer relations personnel, but it is not acted on by those higher up in the organization.  As of this writing, senior management has not communicated my commendations to either driver.  Shame!

I asked CJ whether she or the author of a TCT story in June of 2015 had received a response from the president of GO Transit.  The answer was no.  If Greg Percy won’t respond to customers, where is the motivation for his subordinates do so?  The Sunshine List in action, or is that inaction?

Anonymous, do you understand now why putting it on the internet is the norm?  Because communicating with GO Transit is like a black hole — customer feedback goes in and nothing returns.

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