Following a review of Sydney’s transport system in May, the New South Wales Government is introducing a series of new initiatives and technology to help give travellers an easier ride. The new measures will include geo-targeted SMS messages, brand new smart screens and additional people on the ground, all to help travellers with info and advice for their journey. And while they won’t help you remember the umbrella you left in the quiet carriage, they might just help you find the quickest route to get it back.
These new travel initiatives form Sydney Trains’ five-point plan, which is aimed at giving travellers a more user-friendly experience.
One of the main pillars of this new “customer comms initiative” will utilise geo-targeted text messages to directly contact travellers and alert them of relevant track work, delays and incidents.
Over the next few weeks, you’ll also see brand new smart screens popping up at 21 of Sydney’s busiest transport hubs: including Circular Quay, Central, Strathfield and Lidcombe. These new smart screens will display live information for all modes of nearby transport, with the aim of providing greater connectivity and alternative travel options. While the screens may have been the most costly element of Sydney Trains’ new “customer comms initiative” ($5 million was invested in the screens alone), the investment in digital isn't a reflection of a move away from a people-first approach.
“Training frontline staff to provide accurate, real-time customer communications during times of disruption will support our passengers when they need it most.” explained Sydney Trains Chief Executive Matt Longland, who describes the Sydney Trains staff as “The cornerstone of our rail network”.
The new approach will involve additional training for team members, and will see more customer experience team members deployed at train stations across Sydney to help travellers navigate the maze – especially when there are disruptions and delays.
“When there’s rail disruption, we know one of the most frustrating things for commuters is not having information on-hand to help them make decisions about the best alternative, or when services will be back up and running,” Transport Minister Jo Haylen explained.
We’re not sure how much of an impact these upgrades will have, but we’re pretty confident that having more people to help is a good thing.