Customer satisfaction with public transport down following the opening of the West Metro, passengers nevertheless satisfied with service and signage

Last spring, HSL conducted a survey on public transport in the West Metro catchment area as well as a customer satisfaction survey in the whole HSL area.

The West Metro has significantly affected customer satisfaction in the HSL area.

According to the spring 2018 customer satisfaction survey, 81% of passengers were either fairly or very satisfied with HSL’s public transport services. The respondents gave the services an overall rating of 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 5. The share of satisfied passengers was down by seven percentage points from 88% in spring 2017.

The overall rating for Metro services was down the most. In spring 2018, 75% of Metro passengers were satisfied with HSL public transport compared to 91% in spring 2017. In addition, two out of three Metro passengers were satisfied with the punctuality of the services, while in spring 2017, the figure was nine out of ten. Metro passengers’ satisfaction with the smoothness of travel and ease of transfers was also down.

The decline in the satisfaction level of Metro passengers is at least partly due to completely new users who are not used to feeder journeys. In addition, there were service disruptions due to technical issues and HKL’s shortage of staff in the spring. The Metro passengers’ satisfaction with the punctuality of services declined already in autumn 2017 when West Metro test runs were performed.

In the spring 2018 survey, satisfaction with HSL public transport was down also on buses, trams and commuter trains. On these modes of transport, on average 82% of passengers were satisfied, compared with 88%in spring 2017.

In January 2018, direct bus services from South Espoo and Kirkkonummi to Helsinki were replaced by West Metro feeder buses. In addition, new bus routes were introduced in Lauttasaari. On the changed routes, 65% of passengers were satisfied with public transport services, while on average, 81% of bus passengers were satisfied.

“We take the feedback from Metro and feeder bus passengers seriously. The huge change brought about by the West Metro has reduced journey times for some passengers whilst increasing them for others. There were problems with the punctuality of the Metro in the spring and this affected also customer satisfaction on the East Metro,” says Tero Anttila, HSL’s Director of Public Transport Department.

A number of improvements have been made to public transport in the West Metro catchment area. In March 2018, crosstown journey times were improved by introducing bus 544 between Kivenlahti and Leppävaara. In August, a new bus route, 104, was launched and bus services were improved in areas to the north of Länsiväylä. In October, four new direct peak-time bus routes will start operating from the direction of Espoonlahti to Kamppi. Higher frequency Metro services have been tested during the spring and autumn, with three out of four Metro trains running to Matinkylä.

"We are continuously monitoring the situation and will make changes as and when necessary. We also need to remember that major changes to services almost invariably result in decreased customer satisfaction for some time. For example, when the Ring Rail Line was opened, there was a slight dip in customer satisfaction,” says Anttila.

Excluding the Metro, 86% of HSL’s passengers were satisfied with the smoothness of travel. The figure corresponds to the spring 2017 results.

HSL’s customers are satisfied with the quality of service on board. On commuter train services, 90% of passengers were satisfied with the staff’s ability to assist passengers.

Passenger satisfaction with signage at stops and stations was up from spring 2017. There are new information posters at tram and bus stops and signage has been improved at train stations. Good passenger information affects passengers’ experience of punctuality.
HSL measures passenger satisfaction with public transport services almost year-round. In spring 2018, a total of 28,000 passengers completed the survey.

West Metro Travel Survey: one in four passengers think travel is smoother, one in three think it is less smooth than before

In April/May 2018, HSL conducted a travel survey in the West Metro catchment area. According to the survey, one fourth of public transport passengers thought the West Metro has improved the smoothness of travel. On the other hand, one third of passengers thought travel was less smooth than before.

The most satisfied West Metro users were those who arrived at or left the Metro station on foot. Two thirds of West Metro passengers walk to the stations. Two thirds of these passengers thought that travel was smoother or as smooth as before. Passengers starting their journeys in Lauttasaari, the western parts of Tapiola and Otaniemi were particularly satisfied with the improved smoothness of travel.

Those traveling by feeder buses were clearly less satisfied than those who walked. With over half of them thinking travel was less smooth than before the West Metro. This was especially the opinion of those starting their journeys in Westend, Haukilahti and the western parts of Espoo.

Passengers were also asked how the West Metro has affected their travel habits. For example, 45% of public transport passengers in Kauklahti, Espoon keskus and Kilo said they now use the Metro more than before. By contrast, public transport passengers living in Westend-Haukilahti, western Espoo and Kirkkonummi use car more than before. About one third of them said they use car more than before. Those living along the Metro line used car slightly less than before.

According to the travel survey, cycling has increased in particular in Vattuniemi in Lauttasaari, as well as in Tapiola, Westend and Haukilahti. In these areas, about one fifth of passengers estimated they cycle more than before.

Walking has increased across the survey area. People are ready to walk longer distances to access frequently running trunk services. In addition, interchanging from bus to Metro increase walking.

The travel survey on public transport in the West Metro catchment area was conducted on week days mainly in April. A total of 3,800 passengers completed the survey.

Metro has reduced car traffic on Länsiväylä

The West Metro has reduced car traffic on Länsiväylä. At the Hanasaari measuring point on Länsiväylä, there were 3.1% less cars and vans in late August that at the same time in the previous year.

Some 300,000 people travel on the Metro on weekdays, with 50,000 passengers boarding the Metro at the West Metro stations. There are about 100,000 boardings on buses in the West Metro catchment area.

In January-August, the number of Espoo internal tickets purchased by residents of Espoo was up by 13% and that of regional tickets purchased by residents of Espoo was up by 10% from the previous year.

 

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