FOCUS ON: FARE COLLECTION
The service of fare collection
By Tara Farnsworth
Revenue management, ridership and reporting go hand in hand when it comes to running a transit operation. In order for each agency to receive their operational funds from the Federal Transit Association (FTA), they have to be able to properly record ridership data. Along with each rider is the revenue received for each ride, which creates the need for a high level of service and security around revenue management. Service has and will continue to be more important than ever to the evolving fare collection solution landscape.
Customer care and service is critical to running a successful transit operation. In 2015, Genfare combined its customer service team (OEM spare parts and media) with its system support team (software technical support) to create a centralized customer care team. The goal was to make it easy for clients to reach the right person on the first call. Genfare has made, and will continue to make, significant changes to ensure our clients receive a higher level of service from our team.
Highlights of some of the recent changes include incorporating a formalized ticketing system that documents all agency calls and emails Genfare receives to ensure each support item is documented, assigned and managed through completion. No matter the fare collection provider, there is nothing more important than identifying and resolving high priority service issues that keep transit agencies up and operating smoothly. It is of paramount importance that software and equipment stay running to capture ridership, agency revenue and reporting.
It’s vital to keep an open line of communication with the vendor providing fare collection services to your agency—including agency interactions with a vendor’s customer care team, training, installations, project closures and more. This valuable feedback should be reviewed and, most importantly, incorporated into future improvements. The more insight into what we are doing well and what needs improvement will continue to develop and evolve our service programs.
Reach out and let the vendors know how they’re doing. As each agency continues to change and develop their fare collection policy, it’s important you keep your vendor abreast of changes you are making that may interact or work in cooperation with your fare collection system. Client feedback helps vendors identify gaps in service, put plans in place to eliminate those gaps and keep a consistent line of communication with agency clients. This evaluation process will never stop – it will continue to be an ongoing stream of feedback to ensure we continue to improve our level of service to the industry. Keeping your vendor in the loop will ensure that as you add other elements to your fare collection system, you will have your internal and external team on the same page, which will aid in the success of adding new elements to your system.
Tara Farnsworth serves as director of marketing and customer care. Genfare is a leading provider of fare collection solutions for transit agencies of all sizes. Visit www.busride.com/ebooks to get the full story in Genfare’s eBook.