Image via the MTA New York City Transit by Marc A. Hermann
From its phase out of the MetroCard to the arrival of inclusive subway announcements, the MTA has been keeping busy with a slew of new updates. In latest transit news: it’s now partnering with the city’s transit union to launch a year-long pilot program that will create hundreds of “customer service ambassadors,” who will be stationed around various subway stations across New York City. The agreement between the two parties calls for a set number of station agents and a wage increases for those who want to take part in the program, reports amNewYork. Instead of occupying a post behind glass booths, these ambassadors will roam around station mezzanines and platforms to assist commuters with questions regarding anything from service changes to MetroCard machines; they will also be equipped with iPhones, which will allow employees to communicate with each other and relay real time updates to riders. For now, the MTA will prioritize the most foot-trafficked stations, including Times Square, Grand Central and Penn Station.
According to NYPost, 355 current station agents can volunteer for the ambassador role, a position that will pay $1 more than what their hourly wages are now. Ambassadors will not replace the role of the station agent; any booth worker who leaves for the new position will be replaced by a new employee.
“We’re fundamentally changing our approach to customer service in order to give real-time and better information across the system- and that includes significant face-to-face customer service enhancements,” said MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein. “We’re giving our front-line staff more and better information that they can directly convey to riders.”
Customer service ambassadors will be selected and specially trained over the course of the next several weeks. They will wear distinct uniforms to make them easily identifiable to commuters.
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