TCRP Report 179: Use of Web-Based Customer Feedback to Improve Public Transit Services provides a practical and easy-to-use toolkit of best practices, emerging platforms, and promising approaches for customer web-based and electronic feedback to help improve public transit services. The report is separated into two parts: Part I identifies best practices among transit agencies and other industries using in-house or third-party web-based and mobile platforms to engage customers and provides guidance on managing web-based feedback; and Part II includes a Tool Selection Guide that helps transit agencies select the most appropriate web-based feedback tool based on their needs. The results of this research may be used by a variety of transportation professionals, including policymakers, operations and maintenance managers, customer service managers, marketers, and safety and security personnel to assist with implementing structured feedback systems and utilizing the feedback both internally and externally with customers.
Transit customers are increasingly reporting transit-related issues using web-based tools and expecting both response and action. As a result, transit agencies must determine how they will best use these web-based tools. The challenge for many transit agencies is to collect input from various channels; respond online; create a dialogue with the public; prioritize reported problems; and act on them in a reasonable timeframe. While many aspects of this process do not differ from traditional means of communicating, web-based tools are often viewed as a more attractive form of communication.
This report identifies and catalogs the issues related to receiving and responding to customer feedback via web-based tools, and includes suggestions on how to categorize and organize unstructured feedback from social media outlets. Also, this report includes a menu of platforms available to manage structured feedback from customers incorporating various design choices and a menu of the specific kinds of feedback that will provide information in areas such as safety, security, maintenance, and customer service. The results of this research may help transit agencies when facing the challenges of collecting and managing web-based customer feedback.