BART Considers Text Message Line for Passenger Complaints

BARTBART is considering establishing a text-message line that would allow riders to immediately report problems, allowing the agency to move more quickly to address passenger concerns. Text-messages would be forwarded to a central call center where BART officials would determine how best to respond.

Bob Franklin, President of BART’s Board of Directors, strongly supports the idea, saying, “This could be a simple way to engage our passengers in a meaningful way.”

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BART already has a system in place for responding to passenger complaints. However it requires passengers to find a station agent or train operator, fill out a comment card or call BART Police, all of which require time that many passengers don’t have when commuting to and from work. A text-message line would be a far more efficient way for passengers to report issues. And it would also help crowdsource the responsibility of maintaining a clean, safe and timely BART system.

Gov 2.0 on the Go

Smart governments and agencies need to make it as possible for customers to offer feedback. And BART Board President Bob Franklin agrees, saying, “Many of our passengers want to add their feedback about BART but don’t have time… the text-message line could solve that problem.”

Check out this video from KGO explaining the potential program and where passengers discuss whether they like the idea of establishing a BART text-message line:

Initially, the pilot program would focus on a specific issue like safety or cleanliness and if popular would be expanded to all BART issues.

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Bernadette's picture

A Gov 2.0 and Data Perspective on BART's Text Message Complaints

While BART's Text Message Complaint Line is a wonderful prospective project for short-term improvements of the BART system (e.g. cleaning up a mess that was made in certain station or fixing a suddenly broken elevator), this is also yet another, faster way of gathering a lot of data.

The complaints in the text messages can be compiled as data to help the BART officials see trends in what keep coming up as problems in the system. With that data, BART officials can then find what areas to focus on in terms of improving the system.

I hope MUNI follows suit!

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137