FAIRFAX CONNECTOR Selected One of Metro Magazine’s 10 Most Improved
Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
May 9, 2003
FAIRFAX CONNECTOR Selected One of Metro
Magazine’s 10 Most Improved Transit Systems
The May 2003 issue of Metro Magazine, a publication that covers transit issues, has recognized FAIRFAX CONNECTOR as one of the 10 most improved transit systems in the country. They not only achieved, but surpassed the fiscal year 2002 goals of increasing ridership on the FAIRFAX CONNECTOR Bus System by 4.76 percent and reducing adverse customer comments by 21.9 percent from 41 to 32 per 100,000 riders. Ridership on the FAIRFAX CONNECTOR Bus System in fiscal year 2002 was 6,831,313 passengers, an increase of 11.8 percent over fiscal year 2001 ridership; and the adverse customer comments decreased by 26.8 percent to 30 per 100,000 riders.
A number of improvements in customer service were made to the FAIRFAX CONNECTOR bus system to achieve this new level of customer satisfaction. They began by addressing top concerns revealed in customer survey results. After learning that reliability of service was a concern, FAIRFAX CONNECTOR hired a new contractor to operate the routes with persistent problems. They also replaced 57 of the fleet’s 136 buses, resulting in an average age of 5 years for the fleet. They created a Web site to make bus route information more easily accessible and added a connector host, who helps transferring riders find their connections during rush hour. This is a function many customers had looked to bus drivers to handle, but FAIRFAX CONNECTOR found a designated host is able to do it more efficiently.
Improvements extended to the bus drivers as well. Their seating compartments were adjusted to reduce back strain, which helped improve the bus drivers’ attitudes and overall customer service approach.
The emphasis on customer service remains a key component of the FAIRFAX CONNECTOR’s plans for success. Their ongoing customer service program is very proactive. County staff contacts all customers about their comments, whether they are adverse, suggestive or complimentary. Staff then follows up with the contractor to resolve any adverse comments and submits an update to the customer. This has been extremely successful in improving the service that contractors provide, as well as customer morale.
For more information, call Young Ho Chang, director, Department of Transportation, 703-324-1100, TTY 703-324-1102 or visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/comm/trans/connector/default.htm. To learn more about the recognition visit Metro Magazine online at www.metro-magazine.com.