Usuarios de Access le dicen a Metro qué es lo que funciona o no funciona y comparten ideas

En julio, Metro invitó a los usuarios de Access Transportation y a sus cuidadores a ofrecer sus observaciones sobre el servicio de Access. Más de 800 personas opinaron sobre lo que estamos haciendo, lo que es más importante para ellos y cómo podemos mejorar el servicio de Access.

Un resumen detallado de los comentarios está disponible en el sitio web de Metro, pero aquí tenemos un resumen rápido.

A quiénes escuchamos

access-heardfrom-2015-spanishA través de la encuesta en línea –

  • Gente de todo el condado de King (aquí se encuentra un mapa de Google con los códigos postales de quienes respondieron).
  • Clientes de Access (46%) y cuidadores de clientes (21%); clientes que reúnen los requisitos y cuidadores que nunca han utilizado el servicio (6%); organizaciones que atienden a clientes (16%); y las personas interesadas en asuntos de discapacitados, pero que no utilizan Access (11%).

A través de nueve reuniones de las partes interesadas – Centenares de usuarios de Access, profesionales interesados en el programa Access, cuidadores y grupos de apoyo.

Por llamadas telefónicas, correos electrónicos y cartas – Cerca de 100 personas, la vasta mayoría de las cuales eran usuarios de

Lo que hemos escuchado

Hicimos preguntas acerca de la satisfacción con los diferentes aspectos de Access, incluyendo la calidad del servicio, centro de llamadas / servicio al cliente, conductores, comodidad y limpieza de los vehículos, y seguridad personal. También preguntamos qué opinión general  tenían de Access. Lo que es difícil de reflejar son las innumerables historias que escuchamos que captan los comentarios resumidos aquí y la urgencia con que, según ellos, se necesitan hacer las mejoras.  Aquí están algunos de los principales temas que escuchamos:

Las cosas buenas que Access debe seguir haciendoaccess-wordle-spanish

  1. Los usuarios necesitan y valoran el servicio de Access. Una persona escribió: “Continúen proporcionando un servicio a discapacitados y a personas mayores de una manera profesional y cortés, con conductores competentes y el personal que toma las llamadas”.
  2. Access permite que nuestros clientes tengan libertad. Uno escribió que Access ofrece “… la posibilidad de llegar a lugares de difícil acceso para mí”.
  3. Mantener  la capacitación de los conductores y contrata aquéllos que tienen compasión. Los clientes notan el arduo trabajo de los conductores y valoran a quienes son cariñosos y respetuosos.
  4. Seguir contratando a personal cortés, amable y profesional en el Centro de Llamadas. En general, la gente expresó gran satisfacción con el personal por la ventaja de poder llamar y hablar con alguien directamente cuando quieren programar un viaje y averiguar lo que se necesita para el viaje.

¿Qué es lo que Access no hace bien y que hay que cambiar?

  1. Programación y elaboración del itinerario de rutas: estar en el vehículo demasiado tiempo; conducir por todos lados para llegar de un punto a otro, saltando a veces la parada de un cliente para recoger a alguien más; los conductores dependen de un GPS deficiente y no están facultados para realizar ajustes sensatos en tiempo real para responder al tráfico. Esta fue la preocupación más común que escuchamos.
  2. Falta de fiabilidad en el servicio: no llegar a tiempo; llegar demasiado temprano o demasiado tarde; largas esperas por la llegada del autobús.
  3. Comunicación deficiente o inexistente sobre la hora de llegada o de salida. Es particularmente estresante cuando surge algún problema y no se puede localiza al despachador.
  4. No hay flexibilidad para el pasajero: problemas con la política de cancelaciones; un cliente escribió, “Para mí es un castigo tener que reprogramar mi horario, reajustar mi viaje o cansarme de esperar a Access cuando tengo que llegar a tiempo al trabajo; los conductores de Access, por el contrario, pueden darse el lujo de retrasarse y soy yo quien paga las consecuencias.”
  5. Poca uniformidad en la calidad de la conducción y del servicio del centro de llamadas: muchos elogios y alta satisfacción con los conductores, especialmente los experimentados, pero hay mucho trabajo que hacer con los menos experimentados; se necesita más capacitación; la comunicación y las cuestiones interculturales fueron planteadas por pasajeros cuando el conductor no dominaba bien el inglés.

Sugerencias de los clientes para mejorar el servicio

  • Utilizar una tecnología diferente para elaborar horarios y rutas.
  • Ofrecer más flexibilidad y adaptabilidad a los conductores para responder a las necesidades de viaje en tiempo real de los pasajeros; la tecnología GPS mejorada podría ayudar.
  • Proporcionar la capacidad de hacer reservaciones usando tecnología diferente. Comunicarse de manera más eficiente en tiempo real. Un sistema reservación en línea sería genial, o confirmaciones de texto o de aplicación de los tiempos de recogida o descarga; seguimiento de cada vehículo; proporcionando a los conductores fotos de los pasajeros que van a recoger.
  • Ofrecer más flexibilidad en la programación y cambio de viajes. Un elevado interés en reservaciones del mismo día; deseo de hacer reservaciones con más antelación y ser capaz de hacer ajustes de viaje en tiempo real si las necesidades cambian.
  • Mejor seguimiento de quejas y preguntas. Tener un equipo independiente para manejar las quejas; mejorar el seguimiento para no transferir la llamada a otro agente al que habrá que volver a contar los hechos.
  • Valorar a los miembros del personal. Incentivar y recompensar a los excelentes conductores y al personal del Centro de Llamadas; aprovechar los comentarios para mejorar el rendimiento de aquellos que no están proporcionando un buen servicio al cliente.
  • Ofrecer diferentes formas de pago. Mayor integración de ORCA con Access y tener la capacidad de deducir la tarifa de tarjetas ORCA, pagar con tarjetas de crédito, o tener una tarifa que no implique cambio.
  • Ofrecer más oportunidades para recibir comentarios de los clientes.

access-glance-2015-spanishLos pasos siguientes

Esté pendiente de la información que se brinda en este espacio sobre cómo estamos respondiendo a los comentarios y a las oportunidades para proporcionar comentarios adicionales. Nuestra próxima fase de diálogo se llevará a cabo a finales de este invierno cuando esperamos recibir comentarios sobre nuestras respuestas a las sugerencias que se dieron.

Para obtener más información, visite metro.kingcounty.gov/programs-projects/access-transportation o comuníquese con DeAnna Martin, planificadora de relaciones con la comunidad, al 206-477-3835 o deanna.martin@kingcounty.gov.


How’s our translation? If you speak English and Spanish and want to help us improve our translations, compare this post to the same post we made in English and share your feedback by emailing community.relations@kingcounty.gov.

Access users tell Metro what is and isn’t working, share ideas

Español

In July, Metro invited Access Transportation riders and their caregivers to give us feedback about Access service. More than 800 people weighed in on how we’re doing, what’s most important to them, and how we might improve Access.

A detailed summary of the feedback we received is available on Metro’s website, but here’s a quick rundown.

Who we heard from

access-heardfrom-2015-englishVia online survey –

  • People all over King County (here’s a Google map showing the zip codes of responders).
  • Access customers (46%) and customer caregivers (21%); eligible customers and caregivers who have never used the service (6%); organizations that serve customers (16%); and people who have an interest in disability issues but do not use Access (11%).

Via nine stakeholder meetings – Hundreds of Access riders, professionals interested in the Access program, caregivers, and advocacy groups.

Via phone, e-mails, and letters – Nearly 100 people, the vast majority of whom were Access riders.

What we heard

access-wordle-englishWe asked questions about satisfaction with different aspects of Access, including service quality, call center/customer service, drivers, comfort and cleanliness of vehicles, and personal safety. We also asked for people’s overall opinions of Access. What is hard to reflect back are the countless stories we heard that capture the feedback we’ve summarized here and the urgency with which people feel improvements are needed. That being said, here are some of the main themes we heard:

What does Access do well and should keep doing?

  1. Access is very much needed and is appreciated by users. One person wrote, “Continue to provide service for people with disabilities and seniors in a professional manner with courtesy, skilled drivers, and call takers.”
  2. Access gives our customers freedom. One wrote that it provides “…the ability to get to places I wouldn’t otherwise be able to get to.”
  3. Keep training and hiring compassionate drivers. Customers notice the hard job drivers have and appreciate those who are caring and respectful of them.
  4. Keep hiring courteous, kind, and professional Call Center staff members. In general, people expressed high satisfaction with the staff and with the ability to call and speak with someone directly to schedule a trip and communicate about trip needs.

What does Access not do so well and should be changed?

  1. Ride scheduling and routing: being on the vans too long; driving all over to get from point A to point B, including sometimes past one customer’s drop-off location to pick up someone else; drivers depending on poorly functioning GPS and not empowered to make sensible adjustments in real time to respond to traffic. This was the most common concern we heard.
  2. Lack of service reliability: not arriving on time; arriving too early or too late; long waits for rides to arrive.
  3. Poor or no communication about arrival time or at pickup. It’s especially stressful when there’s a problem and dispatch can’t be reached.
  4. Inflexibility for riders: cancellation policy issues; one customer wrote, “If I have to rearrange my schedule, adjust my trips or give up on waiting for Access to get to work on time, I am punished; but Access can be late as much as they want and I have to deal with the consequences.”
  5. Inconsistency of driver quality, call center: many commendations and high satisfaction with drivers, especially the experienced ones, but we have work to do with the less-experienced drivers; more training is needed; communication and cross-cultural issues were raised by riders whose drivers are English language learners.

Customer ideas for improvement

  • Use different scheduling and routing technology.
  • Offer more flexibility and adaptability to drivers to respond to real-time travel needs of passengers; improved GPS technology could help.
  • Provide the ability to make reservations using different technology and communicate more effectively in real time about trips. An online reservation system would be great, or text/app confirmations of pickup or drop-off times; tracking of each van; providing drivers with pictures of passengers they are picking up.
  • Offer more flexibility in scheduling and changing trips. High interest in same-day reservations; desire to make reservations further in advance and be able to make trip adjustments in real-time if needs change.
  • Better follow-up on complaints and questions. Have an independent team handle complaints; improve tracking so people don’t get passed around to different places and have to re-tell their stories.
  • Value staff members. Incentivize and reward excellent drivers and Call Center staff; use feedback to improve performance of those who aren’t providing good customer service.
  • Offer different forms of payment. Better integrate ORCA with Access and be able to have fare deducted from ORCA cards, pay with credit cards, or have a fee that doesn’t involve change.
  • Provide more opportunities for customer input.

access-glance-2015-englishNext steps

Watch this space for information about how we are responding to this feedback and opportunities to provide additional feedback. Our next phase of engagement will take place later this winter, when we’ll seek feedback how we did at responding to what we heard.

To learn more, visit metro.kingcounty.gov/programs-projects/access-transportation or contact DeAnna Martin, community relations planner, at 206-477-3835 or deanna.martin@kingcounty.gov.

Transportation Survey Seeks Input on Community Shuttle Route 628

Take the survey online through December 7

Through a new transportation survey of people who live, work or go to school in Snoqualmie, Issaquah or North Bend, the City of Snoqualmie and King County Metro Transit are evaluating awareness of Community Shuttle Route 628 to better meet the community’s needs.

shuttle-blueskyKing County Metro Transit Route 628 operates every 30 minutes during peak morning and late afternoon commuting hours between North Bend, Snoqualmie, and the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride. The transportation survey seeks information from local residents about their commuting times and area destinations, even if residents don’t currently use Route 628.

Residents can take the survey online through December 7. More info about Route 628 is available at the King County Metro Transit website.

UPDATE: New transit concepts for Kirkland and south Kenmore – Tell us what you think by Oct. 12

asd-kkEditor’s Note: This post was updated on Oct. 4, 2016, to extend the deadline for comment on alternative service concepts for Kirkland and South Kenmore to Oct. 12.

Last spring, Metro’s Alternative Services program began working with the communities of Kirkland and south Kenmore to identify transit gaps created in September 2014 when Metro deleted two routes that served these areas. A stakeholder working group helped us prioritize transportation needs that might be met by innovative, custom mobility services.

Here are some options we’re presenting to Kirkland and south Kenmore for consideration:

  • Community van: Metro provides vans for local prescheduled group trips that are arranged by a Community Transportation Coordinator and driven by volunteer drivers.
  • SchoolPool is a free and secure ridematch program that connects parents of children attending the same school who want to carpool, bike, or walk together.
  • TripPool is a “first-mile connection” for commuters. It provides real-time ridesharing that connects members—both drivers and riders—to transit.

Now we’d like to hear from people who live, work, go to school, and play in Kirkland and south Kenmore. Will these ideas meet your community’s transportation needs? Would you be interested in trying them?

Questions? Contact DeAnna Martin, 206-477-3835

King County Council to consider changing DART routes 907 and 915

Proposed change to Route 907: shorten route to operate between Renton and Black Diamond, increase service so bus comes every 60 minutes. Proposed change to Route 915: extend to South Enumclaw to cover Enumclaw portion of discontinued Route 907. No “one size fits all” approach to transit can meet every community’s needs. So we’re working with communities in southeast King County to find transportation options that will better meet the needs of residents and riders than regular bus service.

In April 2015, we asked for feedback about how people use transit service, what barriers they face, and how local service could be improved. Then we worked with local partners to design some alternative service concepts to address some of the needs people told us about. We heard public feedback about these concepts in May 2015, and used that feedback to finalize a set of proposals we’re moving forward with. Learn more on Metro’s website.

The King County Council is currently considering some of these proposals involving changes to routes 907 and 915, which the public helped us design.

  • Route 907 would be shortened to run only between the Renton Transit Center and Black Diamond.
  • Route 907 would have increased service, with buses coming every hour.
  • The current Route 907 DART deviation area in Renton would be removed.
  • Route 915 would be extended from Griffin Avenue and Wells Street to McDougal Avenue (to serve the Enumclaw part of current Route 907).

If these changes are adopted, they will be made in March 2017. Related changes would include the following:

  • A demand-response service connection between Black Diamond and Enumclaw (expected to begin service in the first quarter of 2017).
  • A campaign to distribute ORCA fare cards and educate Route 907 riders to help Enumclaw residents make use of transfers between Metro and Sound Transit service in Auburn and the new demand-response service between Enumclaw and Black Diamond. (This would take place before the March 2017 service change.)

Stay tuned for additional services in 2017:

  • We’re developing an emergency-ride-home program. If riders miss their connecting routes in Renton or Auburn during evenings or weekends when fixed-route service is not available, this service would provide the last leg of the trip to get them home. The service could be provided by taxis or by transportation network companies such as Uber or Lyft. Riders would have to preregister for the program.
  • We’re partnering with the cities of Covington, Maple Valley, and Black Diamond to provide connections between and within these communities. Metro will provide a community transportation coordinator and vehicles that the cities would operate. Trips will be determined by the communities served and provided by screened, volunteer drivers.
  • We’re promoting Metro VanPool, VanShare, and TripPool. We’re working with local partners to increase ride sharing with new outreach, education, and incentives, and partnering with interested cities to develop specific program approaches to meet community needs.

Visit the King County Council’s Transportation Environment and Economy Committee website for more information about how to participate as the current legislation makes its way through the council approval process.

Transit Advisory Commission seeks new members

Have A Say LogoDo you ride transit and have a desire to improve transit service for everyone? King County is seeking several new members for its Transit Advisory Commission.

The commission helps improve transit services, planning, and programs by advising Metro, King County, and leaders about transit policy (visit the website to learn more).

The commission’s members include residents and other transit stakeholders. Our goal is to reflect the county’s diversity. Most members ride the bus, and all live in King County. Each serves a two-year term. The commission meets monthly or as needed.

Photo courtesy Ned Ahrens, KCDOT

Photo courtesy Ned Ahrens, KCDOT

In particular, we encourage people who live in the third, sixth, seventh, eighth, or ninth county council district (see a map); young people; people of color; and people with disabilities or limited English proficiency to apply.

Learn more and apply online.

La Comisión de asesoría de transporte público colectivo (Transit Advisory Commission) busca nuevos miembros

Have-a-Say-Spanish-500pwide¿Utiliza usted el transporte público y desea mejorar el servicio para todos? King County busca nuevos miembros para su Comisión asesora.

La comisión ayuda a mejorar los servicios de transporte, planificación y programas, asesorando a Metro, a King County y a líderes acerca de la política de transporte público (visite el sitio web para más información).

Photo courtesy Ned Ahrens, KCDOT

Photo courtesy Ned Ahrens, KCDOT

Entre los miembros de la comisión se encuentran residentes y otras partes interesadas en el transporte público. Nuestro objetivo es reflejar la diversidad del condado. La mayoría de los miembros usa transporte público, y viven en el condado de King. Cada miembro se compromete en participar por dos años. La comisión se reúne mensualmente o según sea necesario.

Photo by Ned Ahrens, King County

Photo by Ned Ahrens, King County

En particular, invitamos a inscribirse a las personas que viven en el tercer, sexto, séptimo o noveno distritos municipales del condado (ver mapa); a los jóvenes; a personas de color; y a las personas con discapacidades o dominio limitado del Inglés.

Obtenga más información y complete su solicitud en línea.


How’s our translation? If you speak English and Spanish and want to help us improve our translations, compare this post to the same post we made in English and share your feedback by emailing community.relations@kingcounty.gov.

Help shape the future of Access Transportation – Tell us what you think by July 10

AccessBoardingInformación en español

NOTE: This post was edited on July 1 to indicate that the due date for participation has been extended from July 5 to July 10.

Metro needs your feedback to help shape the future of Access Transportation, Metro’s ADA paratransit service.

We’ll reach out to the public several times this year to learn about what’s working well and how Access could be improved. Your feedback will inform Metro staff as they plan for new Access contracts that will take effect in 2018.

In this first phase of outreach, we want to hear about how we’re doing with Access service, what’s most important riders, and ideas for improvements.

Tell us what you think about Access Transportation by July 10

Learn more

King County Council approves changes to routes 9X, 38, 106, 107, and 124 for September 2016

Bus riders from Renton, Skyway, Rainier Valley, and the International District testified to the King County Council in favor of the change to Route 106.

Bus riders from Renton, Skyway, Rainier Valley, and the International District testified to the King County Council in favor of the change to Route 106.

Today King County Council unanimously adopted ordinance #2016-0199 that will revise routes 106 and 107, replace Route 38, reduce Route 9X, and increase service on Route 124. Read more detail about how each route will change. Changes to these routes will be made in September 2016.

Thanks to our partnership with the City of Seattle these changes will address a number of long-standing and unmet mobility needs south of downtown:

  • It will be easier for communities of color, low-income and non-English speaking communities from around the county to access opportunities along the Martin Luther King Jr. corridor, including culturally and language-appropriate social services, healthcare, cultural events, family gatherings, religious and businesses.
  • Riders will have new connections and service to and between south and north Beacon Hill, and maintained connections to Rainier Beach and Renton via an extended Route 107 that will serve Georgetown.
  • Bus service every 15 minutes most of the time, to access services needed by the communities between Renton and downtown Seattle and Tukwila to downtown Seattle, based on population, employment and demographic analyses using Metro’s Service Guidelines.

In the coming weeks, Metro will continue to work with the Georgetown community and City of Seattle to improve the schedule reliability of the route 124 and to consider additional stops for the Route 107.

UPDATE: Revised Southeast Seattle bus service recommended to County Council

(Editor’s note: We also have a related April 29 post: ‘Revised proposal designed to increase service and coverage in Georgetown.’)

Metro is updating its recommended changes to bus service in Southeast Seattle after coming to agreement with the City of Seattle on cost sharing to improve Route 124 service to operate every 15 minutes. Metro is now working with the King County Council to amend the current service change ordinance. Details are described below and more information will be posted on Metro’s website in coming days.SESeattleSnip

The recommended changes are similar to a larger proposal shared for public comment last year – that included changes to routes 9X, 38, 106, 107 and 124 – but now with several improvements to address concerns we heard. Now, the recommended changes to Route 107 include a short route deviation into the Georgetown community to maintain this neighborhood’s connection to Skyway and Renton (also serving the same stops as routes 124 and 60, strengthening these connections for riders). See proposed changes here (PDF 2mb) SE Seattle recommended transit changes map

In addition, through a partnership with the City of Seattle, Route 124 will more thoroughly serve Georgetown by operating every 15 minutes throughout most of the day. Today, riders in Georgetown choose between the 106 and 124 – two infrequent routes operating on different streets into downtown with uncoordinated schedules. With this proposal, riders will be better served with consistent, evenly scheduled service to get into downtown on a consolidated single pathway.

Under this proposal, riders will receive the 15-minute all-day transit service that Metro’s service guidelines call for in these communities, Monday through Saturday: Route 106 from Renton through Skyway to Rainier Beach, and 124 from Tukwila to downtown Seattle.

Midday riders of Route 9X will continue to have frequent service options to get between the Rainier Valley and First Hill via service provided by Route 7 and the First Hill Streetcar, or with a connection to Link light rail serving Capitol Hill.

It’s likely this set of changes will replace what the council is currently considering at the May 3 meeting of the council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee (TrEE) meeting, beginning at 9:30 a.m. If the King County Council adopts these changes, they would be implemented this September:

  • Revise Route 106 – would be changed to go through the Rainier Valley along MLK Jr. Way South, Rainier Avenue South, and South Jackson Street to the International District. Route 106 buses would come more often—every 15 minutes during the day on weekdays and Saturday, and every 30 minutes later at night. That’s the same as the current Route 38, which the 106 would replace.
  • Revise Route 107would be extended beyond Rainier Beach, through south Beacon Hill, into Georgetown, then to the Beacon Hill Link light rail station, to replace this segment of Route 106. Route 107 would come more often—every 15 minutes on weekdays during peak periods and every 30 minutes later at night. That’s the same as the Route 106, which the 107 would replace along South Beacon Hill.
  • Increase Route 124 – Route 124 would be improved to come every 15 minutes 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, every 30 minutes between 7:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and hourly during the remaining times it operates today seven days a week. This would provide a more reliable service between Georgetown and downtown while keeping a comparable level of service now provided between Georgetown and downtown Seattle by the combination of Routes 106 and 124.
  • Delete Route 38 – New Route 38 would be replaced by Route 106 in September 2016.
  • Reduce Route 9X – would operate during peak periods only. This reduction in service would help cover the cost of changes to routes 106, 107, and 124. During the day and in the evenings, riders of Route 9X could use Route 7 and the First Hill Streetcar to go between Rainier Valley and First Hill. Link light rail also goes to Capitol Hill, stopping near Seattle Central College.

These changes are the outcome of a four year conversation with the Southeast Seattle community –culminating in a recent public process (November –January) on proposed changes to Routes 9X, 38, 106, 107 and 124.

Earlier this month, Metro forwarded a recommendation to King County Council that would have made changes to only routes 9X and 38. (Read the blog post.) That earlier proposal reflected what Metro could do with the resources available at the time to address consistent, persistent feedback from communities of color, low-income and non-English speaking communities in the MLK corridor. They shared concerns about the loss of historic community connections between the International District and Renton, seeking more convenient access for riders coming from around the county to access opportunities along MLK Way at times when they need it most.

While that initial proposal created impacts for only midday Route 9X riders, it still didn’t go far enough to meet the needs identified in our outreach and by Metro’s Service Guidelines. So Metro, elected officials, and the City of Seattle kept working to partner on an approach that would benefit more people while minimizing its negative impacts.