Customer satisfaction with Tyne and Wear Metro has risen to record levels as passenger numbers continue to recover following the easing of lockdown rules.
Metro users gave the system’s frontline teams their highest scores ever for helpfulness, knowledge, and professionalism.
And overall Metro was rated eight out of ten by more than 750 customers who took part in surveys during May this year – the highest overall rating since the same month in 2014.
The record results recognise the tireless efforts of Metro’s frontline teams throughout the pandemic, keeping stations and trains reliable, clean and Covid secure.
John Alexander, Metro Operations Director, said: “This is fantastic news and a real credit to a lot of people who have contributed to making the Metro journey experience better during a very challenging time. Well done to everyone involved, this is excellent recognition for all your efforts.
We are keen to push the customer satisfaction scores even higher and are continuing to work on improving the passenger experience, including recruiting more people to the team, developing new ticketing and payment methods, and of course investing in a new fleet of trains.”
Nexus, the public body which owns and operates Metro, has invested heavily in an enhanced cleaning regime to keep stations and trains Covid secure, including anti-microbial fogging of trains and UV-filters on escalator handrails, both of which kill 99% of bacteria.
Cllr Carl Johnson, chair of the Tyne and Wear Sub-Committee of the Joint Transport Committee for the North East, and North Tyneside Council’s Deputy Mayor and cabinet member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “It’s great to hear that confidence is increasing among passengers to return to the Metro and that customers are happier than ever before.
“The Metro is a vital service that thousands of people across Tyne and Wear and beyond rely on and is a cleaner, greener alternative form of transport while helping reduce congestion on our roads. I would like to congratulate all the frontline staff who have contributed to keeping Metro services running.”
More than 400,000 people a week are using Metro for work and leisure travel, just under 70% of the number who travelled before the pandemic started. That number is expected to rise further as offices re-open and as people travel for leisure activities in the school summer holidays.
Nexus has invested £362m in a full new fleet of trains, which will transform performance and passenger experience.
Swiss based train manufacturer Stadler will deliver 46 new trains, from 2023, with manufacturing starting in August this year.
The new trains will be 15% more reliable than the current, 40-year-old, fleet, and will cut Metro’s high voltage power consumption by 30%, while providing Metro passengers with new features including charging points, air conditioning and increased accessibility.