Mass transit organizations center everything on the customer experience. Their objective is not only to keep existing customers, but also to grow their business by converting vehicle commuters. Inevitably, every department is focused on making the journey as convenient, efficient and safe as possible.
This explains why we are seeing more mass transit agencies invest in security across terminals and onboard fleets. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the Calgary Light Rail Transit System are just a few recent examples.
While the technology itself is impressive, it is even more interesting to see how this technology is altering the passenger's perception of the journey, in that it is safer, while also encouraging greater collaboration and connectivity.
How people interact with one another is transforming as new security technology helps to break down barriers of communication and helps people get incidents under control, more efficiently than ever before. Here's a closer look at how people's interactions with technology are transforming the overall customer experience onboard mass transit.
The passenger: Sees live video displays on board buses, and knows people are watching and ready to respond at a moment's notice. In some cases, passengers are encouraged to report events, providing greater ownership in public safety.
The bus driver: Knows the cameras help ensure their safety at night or on riskier routes, and can easily press a distress button if an event needs to be acknowledged on the bus. Real-time system health status indications offer them an even greater sense of safety on the job.
The responding dispatch employee: Receives calls from the passengers and distress notifications from the bus drivers. They can pull up live video, listen to audio onboard buses and pass information along to on-street officers who access video from mobile devices before responding.
The responding police officer: Accesses live feeds onboard buses/trains from their mobile data terminals before responding to calls from dispatch. With full situational awareness, officers can strategize and intervene more effectively and safely than before.
The forensic investigator: Taps into video archives without needing to retrieve DVR tapes to investigate crimes or pull evidence for court litigations. They assist law enforcement with cases outside their jurisdiction, in events where a video camera captures events within field-of-view.
The customer services agent: Uses video to review or substantiate claims of theft or violence in its terminals or onboard its fleet. No more he says, she says; there is proof to take just action and keep customers happy while also protecting the organization from costly liability issues. Transit schedules or routes can also be closely monitored to improve services.
IT and system maintenance crew: Are immediately notified to potential onboard system vulnerabilities, and can be more pro-active in addressing any issues. Remote troubleshooting can rectify minor inconveniences in little to no time, without having to any displacement.
Technology Connects People which Makes Them Feel Safe
The primary objective of mass transit agencies is to make the journey as convenient and safe as possible. While new investments in technology are helping, it is ultimately how the technology is being used by people that is contributing to greater safety and a better customer experience in mass transit.
To learn more, see what MBTA passengers have to say about the new onboard video system or visit our new transportation industry page.