Kyle, one of the five original Customer Experience Coordinators (CEC), has learned a lot during the first few months at Valley Metro.
On Aug. 1, Valley Metro officially launched the CECs to provide friendly faces to passengers as they are headed toward their destinations. From the start, Kyle and his fellow CECs have seen just how much of an impact they are making.
“(Riders) feel more comfortable,” he says. “They like having another set of eyes. More question based, more customer service. (The passengers) being appreciative is a good sign that we’re doing something proper in our job.”
With the CECs being split up into teams where they are stationed at certain regions of the alignment, Kyle and his CEC partner Christina, have been able to familiarize themselves with everyday riders.
“We get a lot of regulars and it’s cool to see that and build that relationship with our passengers,” he said. “I have a gentleman named Rusty, he brings his ukulele sometimes on Fridays or throughout the week. He does a little jam session and it’s nice having that connection. He’s having a good time and I like to see that. It shows me that people are enjoying riding the light rail.”
Not only have the CECs brought positive energy to light rail, data shows that riders are showing more respect for the ride. Incidents have decreased by 34% over the past year. Respect the Ride is a rider experience program that began in October 2017 to support the rules of riding with an enhanced code of conduct.
Soon, the CEC team will increase to 10 staff and it might not stop there.
“We were planning for 10 the whole time,” said Debby Thacker, Valley Metro assistant manager of rail operations. “I think it’s going to be such a success that we will someday have 10 more.”
If you see a CEC sporting a fluorescent yellow shirt and a smile, feel free to ask them any questions you might have about your ride.