June 11, 2019 — Chicago
Transdev CEO takes a stand on why we must audit and improve the passenger experience in transit
Public transit ridership has been declining over the past few years for a variety of reasons. One key area where transit agencies can take effective action to help reverse the trend is to systematically audit and make the experience of using transit more appealing.
This is explained in a recent white paper published by Yann Leriche, CEO of Transdev North America and head of the global transit provider’s bus, paratransit, and streetcar services in over 200 cities in the U.S. and Canada.
In his paper, “Learning from TNCs: The Case for Customer Experience in Transit,” on Medium and an accompanying website, Leriche shares research showing that riders choose ride-share services over public transit based on perceived time savings, but they also greatly value other service aspects of the TNC experience including comfort, convenience, reliability, real-time information, and the ability to coordinate with the driver. Research shows that whether they are riding transit or TNCs, riders are very sensitive to the comfort or the discomfort of the overall experience.
“As it relates to the passenger experience, we in transit face a paradox. While transit is less expensive than Uber or Lyft, many riders perceive that it “costs too much” in terms of their time, convenience and comfort. Our industry has the opportunity to address this and improve the passenger experience at every step of passenger trips, to make transit truly more appealing,” Leriche says.
Leriche asserts that a strong approach to making transit more appealing is to listen to riders, audit every step of their trips in all modes, and from their insights, create a customer experience that is better able to attract passengers. He adds, “This rigorous approach can help our industry get on a path toward reversing transit ridership declines here in the U.S., which are not occurring in Europe and other parts of the world.”
Leriche has served as Chief Executive Officer of Transdev North America since 2017, and his career in public transit has spanned over twenty years.