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Tyne and Wear Metro stations and trains will benefit from the new teams which will support customers, as more people get back to using public transport
Nexus who owns and operates the Metro have introduced these changes and will see more trained teams than ever on duty, especially during the evenings when customers have indicated that they would like to see more staff members available.
New uniforms have also been introduced for Metro’s Customer Service Advisers and will make different kinds of team members easier to recognise.
Customer support teams will be wearing blue jackets and will have a mobile presence throughout the Metro network, making them more available to the travelling public. There will be a larger number of customer support teams patrolling onboard trains and also at outlying stations which are unstaffed. The teams will also have new equipment to help them carry out their jobs. These include body-worn CCTV cameras and new two-way radios.
Concourse teams will be wearing a new berry red uniform and will be working at busy stations to provide advice and help customers use ticket machines when passing through the gates.
The concourse teams will be highly focused on customer experience and are fully responsible for the station they are working at, dealing with matters such as the control of passenger flow, ensuring customer safety and managing fare evasion.
Nexus hopes that these changes will free up more resources to deal with anti-social behaviour and fare evasion. The changes also mean that ticket gates will be in operation through the entire operational day as they are rolled out during the lead up to Christmas and new year.
With the highest customer numbers in England, Metro sees a huge 80% ridership when compared to pre-pandemic levels. Customer satisfaction scores are also at a seven-year high and Nexus wants to build on this and attract even more people back to using the Metro.
Metro Operations Director, John Alexander, said:
“Our customers said they wanted to see more staff on duty across the Metro network and we are delivering that. We now have more people than ever before working in frontline roles.
“The changes we are making allow us to put more staff at stations and on trains, right across the day and night, to provide customer support and deal more effectively with issues of fare evasion and anti-social behaviour. It means we have staff at stations for longer, with ticket gates in use over the entire operational day.
“Customers will see staff in distinctive new uniforms. This provides Metro with a fresh new look as we welcome people back in record numbers and seek to rebuild customer confidence in the network.
“Crime rates on Metro remain low, but we know that customers are concerned about anti-social behaviour and we are taking steps to address it through these changes to the way that we staff the Metro system.”
The Nexus frontline staff members have welcomed the changes and adding greater visibility of staff on the network.
The changes have seen Metro Customer Services Advisor Val Dejong get promoted to Customer Services Manager. Val said:
“It’s fantastic news that we are getting more visibility of staff on the Metro. The public will be getting to see us a lot more. We will be out there during the day and in the evenings.
“The customers need that reassurance of seeing staff now that lockdown is over. Anti-social behaviour is an issue and this shows that we are doing more to deal with it.”
Customer Services Advisor Alex Latham, said: “This new roster will be of benefit to people who use the Metro as there will be more staff out and about. When customers see us more that makes them feel safer when travelling on the Metro. We also have better equipment now”
Customer Services Advisor Keith Oliver, said: “It’s a positive step in my opinion. We hear customers saying they want more staff. It can be challenging for us out there and I think this will make people safer and a lot more people will travel with us now that there is that stronger staff presence on the trains and at stations.”
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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