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the most efficient use of all transportation facilities. branding of the system. Because Metrovia's vehicles Other key initiatives include improving the spine of are fairly new (3 years or less), they are much more the transportation system by expanding the rail net- attractive than the older buses used by the private work; improving the efficiency of the bus network collective services. Metrovia's vehicles also do not with GPS; using an electronic ticketing system to emit clouds of exhaust, which further contributes to integrate fares and minimize fare evasion and crime; a positive image for the system. The branding of the building a bicycle network to encourage more system with "Metrovia" displayed prominently on travel by bike; and testing and adopting sustainable buses, stations, and terminals reinforces the positive energies, including biodiesel, electric, and battery perception that the system is a time-efficient means technologies. of getting to one's destination. Ridership growth has affirmed that perception. Accidents between BRT buses are nonexistent CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE because of the dedicated lanes, and conflicts with pri- Guayaquil, Ecuador vate vehicles have been reduced to one or two per day. Users of the new system enjoy travel time savings of One of the key problems in Guayaquil before the as much as 30 min from outlying areas, which was a introduction of the BRT service was the chaotic and 50% savings over the travel time using private collec- unsafe bus system. There was an overwhelming and growing demand for transit services, and the private tive buses. The use of dedicated lanes for Metrovia bus system could not efficiently and safely meet the further improves travel time, resulting in a service that demand. is faster than the collective buses that it replaced and Metrovia is considered to have been hugely suc- competitive with driving an automobile. cessful. Safety has significantly improved. Crime is no longer a problem on buses. Customers are sat- Santiago, Chile isfied. Bus operators are pleased--they have job security, fewer work hours, and a stable income. The immediate customer dissatisfaction that Financial institutions are satisfied with profit mak- occurred with Transantiago's rushed implementation ing arrangements. The city is pleased not only with brought changes that improved the customer experi- the improved public service, but also with its contri- ence and service delivery and also improved effi- bution to an improved state of the city. More BRT ciency. Many other improvements have been made lines are planned, and, assuming continued political since then to the infrastructure and systems that sup- leadership and support, the service will be success- port the bus network. ful in meeting and managing the demand for public One major improvement was the establishment transit services. of 148 bus stops with prepaid zones to speed up The immediate effect of the initial BRT corridor boarding in some of the busiest areas. When Tran- was to reduce bus congestion, reduce the number of santiago opened in February 2007, no prepaid zones accidents involving buses, and improve travel time existed, and bus loading had a major impact on travel and access for residents of outlying areas. The city times. The prepaid stations were added to speed up government had established a goal of removing boarding; riders pay as they enter a secured area, 650 private buses from the streets by implementing where they wait for the bus. When the bus arrives, the first three BRT corridors. The opening of the ini- passengers can quickly board. Some riders still man- tial corridor, when owner-operators left the collec- age to evade paying a fare, but the agency is pleased tives to work as employees of the concessionaire with the benefits brought by the prepaid zones and operating the first corridor, resulted in over one-third is developing improvements to further minimize of that goal being achieved. Approximately 250 pri- fare evasion. vate collective buses were replaced by the new fleet In August 2007, the operating contracts were of 40 articulated buses and 40 standard-size feeder revised to include improved schedules, increases in buses when the first corridor opened. the number of buses, and incentives for quality ser- Metrovia receives high marks from the public; vice and reduction of fare evasion. Modifications riders are pleased with the system's travel time sav- were also made to the contract with the Administrator ings, as well as the newness of the infrastructure. The Financiero de Transantiago (AFT), which is owned by positive image is further reinforced by the extensive four banks and which is responsible for administer- 18
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ing the fare collection process. These modifications a six or seven on a scale of one to seven--is on the included a fleet monitoring system and increases in the rise, improving from 37% in 2007 to 52% in 2008. number of sales outlets for the bip! card. This is still a long way from the 81% satisfaction Oversight of the bus network was also improved, level in 2006, but also a great improvement over the a monitoring center was established, and the tempo- satisfaction level in 2007. In 2009 Transantiago won rary fleet monitoring system was used to oversee awards for both service quality and reputation recov- schedule adherence and to detect buses bunching on ery, and the system now holds the ninth best reputa- the trunk lines. The engineers communicate with the tion in all of Chile. operators to document contract violations and imple- ment service improvements. A major public information campaign was estab- Buenos Aires, Argentina lished in 2008 utilizing radio and television. The Improvements made since Metrovias took over campaign focused on a variety of issues, including operation of the system have led to a doubling of publicizing route changes, discouraging fare eva- the percentage of total trips completed by rail, sub- sion, speeding up boarding times, announcing recent way, and light rail. The Metrovias system now trans- improvements, and attracting students to the system. ports more than one million passengers daily, which Significant service improvements were gained has led to a 15% reduction in passengers using the through the many efforts implemented by Transan- bus system. tiago. The rapid improvements in the first two years Metrovias is still making improvements to attract of operation would not have been achieved if a more and retain riders. Their overarching goal is to meet gradual change to the bus network had been imple- increasing ridership demands while reducing air pol- mented. Passenger dissatisfaction with the system lution and energy consumption. has decreased since the initial start-up. Metrovias's cultural program El Subte Vive (The The average wait for a bus has been cut in half Subway Lives) mobilizes 400 artists each year, who (to 5.6 min from 11.9 min in February 2007). In that display their art, murals, and sculptures at stations. same time period, the percentage of passengers wait- A jazz festival is conducted at subway stations, film ing more than 10 min has also been halved, to 6.8% clips are shown in stations, and artists perform at sev- from 17.4%, and only 0.7% of passengers report waiting more than 20 min (down from 4.4% ).Travel eral stations and on select trains. The program is evi- times throughout the system have improved, as has dence of Metrovias's support for the community and customer satisfaction with Transantiago. its culture, and it boosts the image of the transit sys- The service has now stabilized at 5,800 buses tem among riders. (up from 4,000 in 2007) and includes an additional Metrovias has been able to double its customer 3,802 km of service (6,502 km in 2007), and an base through service and reliability improvements. additional 44.4 km (15.6 km in 2007) of exclusive They accomplished this by adding new lines and bus lanes. increasing the fleet size by 250%. Reliability of the The number of smartcard recharging locations Urquiza rail line improved 99% between 1994 and has increased from 558 in 2007 to almost 2,000 today. 2008, making the customer experience significantly Forty percent of daily riders use the bus system improved. Fare payment on the Metrovias system exclusively, 25% use the Metro system exclu- has been improved through the implementation of a sively, and 35% use a combination of Metro and magnetic farecard system, called monedero (elec- bus. Demand for Metro service keeps growing, with tronic purse). More subway lines are planned, and annual passenger trips up 6.8% over 2007; rush-hour the government is focused on developing the financ- trips increased by 10.4% over the same time period. ing for construction. Accidents and complaints per million customers Improvements to the Metrovias system are have also decreased significantly, and system speed affected by the organizational structure and working has improved. With the improvements in service qual- relationship between Metrovias and the federal gov- ity, customers are increasingly pleased with Transan- ernment. Although the local government owns the tiago, and the company is once again held in high assets and Metrovias operates the system, Metro- public regard. vias's agreement is with the federal government. Surveys show the number of highly satisfied Capital improvement items are prioritized by the fed- customers--that is, those ranking the system as either eral government. Each year, Metrovias has to submit 19