With passengers returning to the Tyne and Wear Metro in growing numbers, more frontline teams are being moved onto stations and trains to care for customers and provide a fresh new look.
Nexus, the public body which owns and operates Metro, has made changes which means more trained teams are on duty, particularly in the evenings when demand for staff peaks.
Metro’s Customer Service Advisors have been given new uniforms and will have two distinct tasks.
Roving customer support teams will wear blue jackets and provide a mobile presence across Metro when it is needed most.
These teams will provide an increased presence on unstaffed sections of the network and will be highly focused on reducing fare evasion and anti-social behaviour. They will work with police and other stakeholders to educate youths about safety and travelling responsibly, while also completing customer service duties as and when they arise.
Concourse teams in a new red berry coloured uniform will work at busy stations to offer advice and help customers at ticket machines and when passing through gates. These teams will be highly focused on customer experience and fully responsible for the station they are based at. They are responsible for controlling passenger flows, ensuring customer safety, and managing fare evasion.
The Metro currently has the highest customer numbers in the country, with 80% ridership compared to pre-pandemic levels and customer satisfaction scores at a seven-year high.
Metro Operations Director, John Alexander, said: “Our customers said they wanted to see more staff on duty across the Metro network and we are delivering that. We now have more people than ever before working in frontline roles.
“The changes we are making allow us to put more staff at stations and on trains, right across the day and night, to provide customer support and deal more effectively with issues of fare evasion and anti-social behaviour. It means we have staff at stations for longer, with ticket gates in use over the entire operational day.”
The changes free up more resources to tackle anti-social behaviour and fare evasion. There will be an increase in customer support teams patrolling on board trains and more frequently at outlying stations which are unstaffed. The staff have new equipment to support them in these roles, including body-worn CCTV cameras and new two-way radios.
Nexus frontline staff have welcomed the new roster, which means a greater visibility of staff on the system.
“It’s fantastic news that we are getting more visibility of staff on the Metro,” said Metro Customer Services Manager, Val Dejong. “The public will be getting to see us a lot more. We will be out there during the day and in the evenings.
“The customers need that reassurance of seeing staff now that lockdown is over. Anti-social behaviour is an issue and this shows that we are doing more to deal with it.”
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