How rail passengers really feel

03 June 2016

Independent watchdog Transport Focus strives to give all transport users as powerful a voice as those that provide transport services.

As well as producing research on various topics as they become relevant, we also produce the world’s largest published rail satisfaction survey (NRPS). NRPS is published twice a year. But in today’s ‘always on’ society passengers, keen to make their voices heard, often use social media and other live channels for feedback to train operators ‘in the moment’. Passengers are providing a constant stream of timely feedback that could be put to good use.

We have tapped into this feedback and devised a way of ‘taking the temperature’ between the waves of the main NRPS survey. Going beyond satisfaction, we asked passengers how they feel during their journeys. You can read more about the methodology of the research here. This report covers a four-month pilot run with commuters affected by the disruption linked to London Bridge and the Thameslink programme.

Our three key recommendations are:

  • be open about delivery and the problems and the duration of any problems to help set revised expectations
  • make some offer that shows passengers they haven’t been forgotten and that acknowledges problems experienced – perhaps the Government’s quick implementation of its welcome promise to cut the threshold for Delay Repay to 15 minutes from the current 30
  • make sure there are less ‘really bad’ days – improve recovery when things start to go wrong.
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