Transportation

Metro Prepares To Handle Rider Complaints Over New Bus Network

Metro unveils its new bus network next month, and they’re bracing for an onslaught of unhappy calls. Transit officials say they have a plan to handle those complaints.

Metro Customer Service
Metro officials are preparing for a big increase in calls once the new bus network goes into effect.

 

Metro Customer Service
Metro customer service representatives answer questions about bus routes and they also handle complaints.

We got a tour of Metro’s Customer Care Center with Danicel Whitaker, Metro’s Vice-President of Customer and Ridership Services.

training  motivational signs
Metro call center employees decorated with an army theme to prepare for the bus system redesign.

Whitaker said the center already gets over 6,000 calls a day, and they’re bracing for about a 25% increase once the new bus routes go into effect.

“There’s always going to be a select group of people that knew nothing about it until the day of, until they see the bags come off the info posts, until they see that the bus they caught this morning, they’re not going to be able to catch it the next day,” said Whitaker.

Metro is kicking off its new bus network on Sunday, August 16.  Whitaker said they’ll have the phone lines open at 6:00 a.m. and they’re preparing to hear from some unhappy riders.

“They’re going to be confused. They’re going to be angry. They’re going to want to talk about those same questions that they asked weeks before on the day of,” Whitaker said.

Metro said the goal of the bus system redesign is to boost sagging ridership. They hope to do that by providing more frequent service on the city’s busiest routes.

Click here for an interactive map comparing Metro’s old and new bus routes.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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