Passengers continue to rely on railway staff

04 February 2016

Passengers still value the ‘human face’ of staff on the ground despite all the new technology available.

Research published today by Transport Focus, the independent watchdog, asked rail passengers what they think about staff and the value they add to their journey experience.

Anthony Smith, Transport Focus’s chief executive, said:
“Each time we ask passengers about rail staff we get the same answer: we like and value having staff around and our journey experience would be much the worse without them.
“It is essential that the rail industry carefully considers the findings of this research when deciding how it uses front-line staff.”

The key findings of this research are:

  • Passengers value the guidance and reassurance that staff provide when buying tickets. However, this help doesn’t necessarily mean it has to come from behind a ticket office counter.
  • Staff are the human face of the railway. Their interaction with passengers, and the information they provide, particularly when journeys are disrupted, is important.
  • A visible staff presence makes passengers feel safer at stations and on trains.

Transport Focus’s latest National Rail Passenger Survey, published on 27 January 2016, found that 76 per cent of passengers were happy with the attitude and helpfulness of station staff, while satisfaction with train staff was 65 per cent. Only 44 per cent of passengers were satisfied with the availability of staff during their journey.

Click here to download the report.

 The video below is a short summary of the research.

Passenger attitudes to rail staff from Transport Focus on Vimeo.

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