Keolis Commuter Services operates and maintains Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Commuter rail system that services over 35 million passengers annually. Their vision for the company is to “Think Like a Passenger”, and with their new technology plans, they are certainly living up to their tagline.
In their previous ticket sales model, passengers had several options for purchasing tickets: at a ticket window inside the station, at a kiosk inside the station, through the app, or on the train with cash. Even with all of these methods, a major challenge they continued to face was that many commuters were not aware they couldn’t use a credit card on the train. This fall, the company made a forward-thinking decision to also accept onboard credit card payments.
“As we continue to find ways to improve our customers’ experience, this technology offers an additional, convenient way for the payment of fares,” said MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramírez. “The adoption of smart technology like this will help accelerate the fare transaction process through a system that is already familiar to many of our customers.”
In order to achieve the goal of accepting credit card payments on board their commuter trains, the first step was to begin putting mobile technology into the hands of their 450 train conductors. Step two was to standardize a process to manage their considerable technology investment: iPhones, credit card scanners and mobile ticket printers–three separate devices that each needed storage, charging and physical security.
As part of their mobile device policy, each conductor is responsible for his or her own devices–and to prevent loss, theft and the potential for uncharged devices slowing productivity during a shift, conductors needed access to a secure area to charge their devices during the day. In order to accommodate the number of outlets required to securely charge several devices at once, FUYL Tower Charging Lockers by LocknCharge were installed inside city hub employee rest areas. The small footprint of the FUYL Tower allows users to charge a greater number of devices in a small area–which was the case for Keolis.
The FUYL Tower features 15-individually lockable compartments, each compartment including both an AC and USB outlet. During a shift break, an employee can use a PIN number to access an individual locker where they can charge their iPhone, credit card reader and mobile ticket printer. If a conductor forgets their PIN number, the Keolis help desk has access to the FUYL Tower’s back-end management portal where they’re able to retrieve a PIN or open a locker remotely.
Only a few days after their device rollout, the IT Team at Keolis received extremely positive feedback from the train conductors and the passengers. Their thoughtful process of thoroughly training employees and deploying devices alongside a charging solution resulted in a seamless transition toward mobile credit card transactions.
Keolis has proven that their plan is achieving the intended goals, and they have seen an increase in customer satisfaction through this added convenience for commuters. They’re also able to easily track and report ridership data, which allows them to provide an even better customer experience for their customers.
To date, Keolis has rolled out mobile devices to over 85% of their conductors–and because of the flexibility and scalability of the FUYL Tower, Keolis is able to continue to roll out mobile devices at a thoughtful and sustainable pace until they reach their goal of 100%.
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