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Metro-North's customer satisfaction rating plummets over past year


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) annual customer satisfaction surveys found a steep decline in MTA Metro-North Railroad's rating and a slight increase in satisfaction with MTA New York City Transit's (NYCT) subway system.

Overall satisfaction with MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), bridges and tunnels and NYCT buses remained essentially unchanged compared with recent years, MTA officials said in a press release.

Metro-North's overall satisfaction declined 20 points to 73 percent compared with last year, a drop that MTA management anticipated following a year in which the railroad experienced several incidents, including the fatal derailment in the Bronx in December 2013. Customer satisfaction with on-time performance, schedules, communications and seat availability all declined by at least eight percentage points.

Customer satisfaction with Metro-North's services on the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley Lines, which were not impacted by service disruptions, were statistically similar to last year.

Metro-North's ratings did show some improvements, however. Satisfaction with restroom cleanliness continues to increase in tandem with the continued rollout of the new M8 rail cars on the New Haven Line, and satisfaction with the railroad's quiet car program, surveyed for the first time this year, scored 87 percent.  Customer satisfaction with Grand Central Terminal continues to be "very high" at 96 percent, MTA officials said.

"This year's survey results are sobering but not surprising given the challenges Metro-North has faced during the last 18 months," said Metro-North Railroad President Joseph Giulietti. “We are rebuilding Metro-North and much progress has been made but much more needs to be done. We must and we will regain the trust of our customers." 

Overall, 78 percent of NYCT's subway customers reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied with service, an increase of two percentage points from last year. Overall satisfaction levels have increased each year since 2010, when overall satisfaction with the subway was 71 percent, officials said.

LIRR's overall satisfaction rate was 84 percent, identical to last year and the highest level of satisfaction for any MTA agency.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/17/2014