I’m eager to rip Sound Transit when their operations department does rider-unfriendly stuff, so it’s fair to commend them for absolutely flooding the zone with employees during tunnel closures the last two weekends.
I had a couple of trips to the Sodo/Stadium area on Sunday, and there was so much staff there that no one could be confused about the transfer to the 97. With an unusually high tourist content, this human contact was worth any number of online tweets and alerts.
Moreover it seemed like there was pretty much always a 97 around when people got off the train, minimizing the delay for riders.
Bravo to Sound Transit.
10 Replies to “Two Cheers for Customer Service”
And bravo to Metro for partnering with ST to make the 97 work well.
I wish they would have had better (some?) communication around closing Stadium Station to Link traffic on Sunday (or maybe it was all weekend? Nothing about it on their online presence).
Also it would be awesome if their trip planner could account for things like the closure and the stops that moved for the Race for the Cure.
I ended up having to take an Uber to the airport after the triple whammy of a relocated stop, a tunnel closure, and poor communication around Stadium station would have had me miss a flight.
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Metro/ST are large enough agencies that they should be able to go on camera or local news regarding the tunnel closure. They call it community outreach.
There was plenty of news reports about bad traffic one of those weekends. They mentioned the 520 bridge closure and the tunnel closure, among other things.
It’s great that there were lots of employees at the station. But I’m not going to give Metro/ST full credit because a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Both agencies did a lousy job of physically warning people that the tunnel would be closed and what would be happening. Online alerts were decent. But there’s no substitute for posting signs on buses, trains, and at stations warning people what is going to be happening days in advance so that they would know what to expect and could make alternate arrangements if necessary.
Better, weeks in advance. And yes, signs everywhere, at all station entrances and platfoms and on all railcars. The “97 stops here” signs in from of Nordstrom were an improvement, but did not say where it was going or how much it cost. C- at best for each agency.
The first tunnel closure on 5/27-28 was poorly handled (from a customer service standpoint). When I was at Westlake that Saturday, there were no info agents staffing the entrance, just a security guard just inside the gate at the station entrance. There was a sign posted on the gate (which I did not read, but assumed it directed passengers to the 97). Once riders started to stand at 5th & Pine, they were confused by the multiple Rider Alerts posted for the 7 & 47, but no signage whatsoever for the 97.
Sun the 31st had both the M’s and the Sounders playing back-to-back games. Combined with event goers and luggage-carrying travelers, the crowds grew large and quick and 5th & Pine.
The following week was much better. A large #97 sign was tied to the bus stop and numerous customer service staff were present to direct people.
My only concern was many buses filled to standing-capacity with airport travellers and stadium even goers once the #97 left 5th & Pine. Perhaps next time the bus should leave more often, especially during the high-tourist, summer season.
Yes, yes, yes and yes.
Or people with orca cards can take the 101, 102 (*), 106, 150, or st 590 (*), 594, 595 (*).
(*) – weekday emergency closure
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