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The Bottom Line: The Passenger Experience

The Bottom Line: The Passenger Experience

Yann Leriche | November 13, 2018

Passenger expectations regarding public transportation continue to rise. Advances in technology, and standards set by companies like Uber and Lyft have affected consumers’ minimal standards. Transit riders expect to see their bus approaching on a map, to easily buy and store mobile tickets, to use a high-functioning trip planner, to get service alerts on their route and more. They expect timely and efficient transfers and seamless journeys, as well as all the basics: a clean bus, reliable service, effective signage, courteous and well-trained drivers.

In fact, a 2018 study from DePaul University (“Uber Economics” by P. Schwieterman & M. Livingston) showed that when the public transit experience is favorable and convenient, the average commuter is six times less likely to use Uber or Lyft. The reverse is also true – if the passenger experience is poor, transit riders are more likely to use TNC’s.


In New Orleans, Transdev supported the Regional Transit Authority in adding two new lines to its iconic streetcar system.

No wonder many transit leaders are working to improve all the steps in their passenger journeys. A recent major study that Transdev commissioned, surveying leaders of U.S. transit agencies, showed that 98% of them intend to put significant focus on the passenger experience in the next three years. This includes creating a stronger service culture, increasing the empathy of staff, using data science to better understand customers and their needs, redesigning bus routes and deploying a diversity of payment channels.

At Transdev, we have built rigorous audit methodologies that identify pain points and friction during passenger journeys and then help our teams create and prioritize action plans to improve. We have state-of-the-art programs focused on capturing customer feedback and improving our service based on their input. Our new Mobility as a Service solutions provide passengers with a single place for planning, booking and paying for their journey, combining public transit, car-pooling, ride-sharing, bikes and more. And, our pilots for new on-demand shared ride services help solve first- and last-mile problems and take passengers to and from transit stops.


Transdev’s new MaaS solutions provide passengers with a single place for planning, booking and paying for their journey, combining public transit, car-pooling, ride-sharing, bikes and more.

Riders will have more choice in mobility in the upcoming years as new options proliferate, and we need to continue to earn their loyalty. Our industry needs to sustain a relentless focus on making it ever easier to use public transportation, removing hassle, and providing timely and personalized information to passengers throughout their trips. Transit leaders need to manage and train their teams to collaborate to make every single step as painless and convenient for passengers as possible and integrate the operational practices, KPIs, technology and motivation to achieve this goal every day, every trip.

Whether we are transporting people on a BRT bus or an autonomous vehicle – people in all our departments need to collaborate in new ways to respect the time of passengers and to push hard to continue to tweak and refine all the steps in the passenger journey. We have to continually optimize, measure and keep improving our performance in every aspect of what our passengers are going through, whether they are riding in our buses, trains, paratransit vehicles, bikes, circulators, ferries, AVs and more.  


At Nassau county, Transdev serves passengers with robust bus and paratransit options.

We believe that mobility will become increasingly more P-A-C-E:  Personalized, Autonomous, Connected and Eco-friendly. We are excited about the opportunity of working with our clients to navigate this evolution and ensure that current and new mobility options super serve passengers to sustain their loyalty and attract new riders.

Topics: Autonomy, Shared Mobility

Yann Leriche, CEO, Head of the B2C Business Line and Autonomous Transportation Systems, Transdev North America

Yann Leriche became CEO of Transdev North America in charge of the B2C Business Line and development of the Autonomous Vehicles Activities in July 2017. A graduate of Ecole Polytechnique (1997) and the Ecole nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (1999) and a member of the College of Engineers, Yann Leriche also holds an Executive Specialized Masters in Tax and Financial Engineering from ESCP-Europe.