In an effort to provide transparency and improve service, New Jersey Transit released this week the results of its second annual rider survey. Unfortunately for the commuter authority, its riders aren’t very happy. As the survey shows, train customers gave NJ Transit a 4.2 out of 10 in overall satisfaction with announcement during service interruptions ranking just a 3.6. Fares, which have increased a bit lately, earned just a 3.3, and few people said NJ Transit was a good value for the money. Overall, just 57 percent of respondents said they would recommend New Jersey Transit’s rail service to a friend or relative.
While satisfaction with the rail offerings declined, customers ranked buses higher this year than last, and the light rail has been particularly well received with 85 percent saying they would recommend it. For their part, NJ Transit officials said they would use these results to improve. “The customer satisfaction survey results are driving NJ Transit’s understanding of what really matters to customers, enabling us to better respond to their needs and demands,” Executive Director James Weinstein said. “While these results show that overall we’re moving in the right direction, we need to continue to work to make meaningful changes and improvements that increase customer satisfaction.”
It’s notable that the commuter rail network suffered the most with regards to service disruptions. Without an alternate route into Manhattan, NJ Transit will always be at the whim of trains entering through the lone rail access point. Until a second tunnel is constructed — and who knows when that will be — customers will have to wait out those delays.