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What did we do?
In 2013 the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) announced that Adelaide Metro Multi trip tickets would be phased out and no longer valid on the State’s public transport network, following the successful introduction of the Metrocard. The Metrocard is a contactless smartcard ticketing system used across the Adelaide Metro bus, train and tram system.
As the new system was introduced, public transport passengers were recruited in a pilot program to test functionality and usability and to provide feedback.
As additional equipment was added to the bus/train/ tram network, or new Metrocard functions were made available to public transport users, a variety of platforms to assist customers with the new technology were employed. These included printed collateral, signage,
online instructions and on-ground staff to assist customers to become accustomed to the card.
These engagement processes began as soon as new equipment started appearing onboard and continued past the launch for a period of time.
Customer service staff also took part in the testing and provided feedback to improve the performance of sales equipment along the way.
Through using Metrocards during the trial period, public transport users provided the transactions required to check the integrity of the technical data. Based on their usage they were also able to provide feedback on their experience, which enabled DPTI to improve Metrocard functions and the communications material for a broader rollout.
What was new or different about this engagement?
This engagement utilised the following strategies:
- Staff were available to assist customers
- Information leaflets
- Signage across the network. Signage was adjusted depending on customer feedback
- Print, radio and TV media announcements to let the public know about the introduction of Metrocard and important dates
- Information sessions were also held for community groups with specific needs (people with disabilities, elderly etc).
- Focus groups were also held for the web component, which assisted in the development of the new website
- Trial participants were surveyed to check what future functions of Metrocard they would like to see developed
- Significant changes were made to the Metrocard system as a result of customer feedback during the trial period
The take-up rate of Metrocard was 30% in its first month and 84% within 10 months of implementation. This is significantly higher than other jurisdictions that have introduced new ticketing systems, largely the result of the successful engagement strategy with customers and stakeholders, and the changes made through the feedback gained during the pilot program.
Evaluation was an iterative process. Based on customer and stakeholder feedback received, DPTI was able to determine what worked well and what needed to be changed or done differently, particularly during the trial phase.
What we did & what worked well?
Having on-ground staff available at ticket machines, onboard the public transport and at info sessions to provide information to customers meant that customers had direct communication with people who could assist with difficulties and questions.
The trial phase was very successful, engaging DPTI Customer Service Officers and bus drivers in the testing phase, which resulted in making them strong advocates for the new system.