Complaints up and compliments down, rail report shows

A report by the NSW Auditor-General focusing on transport and ports showed an increase in the number of complaints received by RailCorp, and a decline in the number of compliments.

The report also showed that 94 per cent of CityRail trains ran on time in 2012-13.

The total complaints received by CityRail in 2012-13 rose by seven per cent to 31,189, up from 29,219 in 2011-12. 

Compliments decreased by five per cent.  

Service complaints, relating to the comfort and convenience experienced by customers, made up the greatest proportion of complaints, representing 20 per cent of all complaints during the last financial year. 

RailCorp advised the hot temperatures in January 2013 gave rise to an increased number of complaints. 

Complaints relating to on-time running of services had the greatest increase, jumping 30 per cent from the prior year. 

RailCorp advised delays caused by a number of operational and infrastructure incidents between February and May 2013 contributed to an increased number of complaints.  

Ticketing was the second highest source of customer dissatisfaction in previous years.

This year the installation of 35 new EFTPOS-only machines and modification of another 15 vending machines to include EFTPOS facilities has seen a major improvement, with complaints dropping by 20 per cent.  

Complaints about the environment, ticketing, timetable and claims for reimbursement decreased in 2012-13.  

Auditor-General Grant Hehir recommended that Transport for NSW should set targets to measure the overall satisfaction of train users.  

The NSW Government’s most recent performance report for its 2012 strategic plan notes that targets have not been set for overall satisfaction of train users. 

The first Customer Satisfaction Survey established a baseline that 79 per cent of customers were partly satisfied to very satisfied with overall service. 

The Auditor-General also reported that 94 per cent of CityRail trains ran on time in 2012-13, above its target of 92 per cent. 

This was an improvement on the previous year’s 93.4 per cent but lower than its peak performance of 96 per cent in 2009-10.

For CountryLink, on time running performance significantly improved during the year moving from 62.1 per cent in 2011-12 to 73.7 per cent in 2012-13. 

However, this improved performance is still below the target of 78 per cent.

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