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National Express Transit Blog

Closing the Gap to Enhance the Rider Experience

closing the gap to enhance transit service

Public transportation connects people to their communities and can produce a better quality of life. Every segment of society can benefit from public transportation and it is a crucial part of the solution to the nation’s economic, energy, and environmental challenges.

Although ridership across the board has been increasing in past years, there are still some logistical challenges that make people choose private transport over public transport. Getting more individuals to adopt public transit is every transit company’s goal, so how can we overcome these barriers to get people to say “yes” to public transportation?

Well, what if we could solve these public transportation challenges by using other forms of public transportation?

It’s very possible, and in fact, it has already been happening.

Problem: The First and Last Mile

One of the biggest objections to taking public transit that is posed by potential riders is the fact that they don’t have a way to either a) get to the stop to take public transportation in the first place or b) don’t have a way to get from the last stop to their final destination conveniently.

This is causing individuals to choose the convenience of driving themselves to their final destination rather than taking public transportation.

This problem is starting to get more attention industry-wide, and some creative ways to overcome this challenge have already started to be implemented.

The Solution

One of the most popular solutions to the “first and last mile” problem that has been implemented is partnerships with ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

Public transit agencies are partnering with these ride-sharing companies in order to provide their passengers with an option to get to or from public transportation from their home and to their final destination to provide a full-service experience to riders.

This is indeed a creative solution, but why wouldn’t we want to incorporate as much public transportation as possible into this process to enhance the rider experience instead of involving third-party ride-sharing companies?

That’s what National Express Transit’s (NEXT) subsidiary, Trans Express, and Hornblower have recently partnered up to do.

NEXT is Closing the Gap

Residents of Midtown Manhattan and Rockaway, Queens needed a solution that would close the first mile gap for them to get to NYC ferry operations.

To close this gap and enhance their riders’ experience, Trans Express is providing shuttle transportation to New York’s Rockaway Ferry. These shuttle services are complimentary and are comprised of two routes – an Eastbound and Westbound route – that will run throughout the day.

Here’s what Anastasija Kuprijanova, special projects coordinator, and Jonathan Figueroa, director of operations, facilities, and support services for Hornblower, had to say about the solution:

“Trans Express and the National Express family of companies have been a great partner for Hornblower and our East River Ferry and NYC Ferry operations. “ –Anastasija Kuprijanova

“Their team supports our ferry operations by providing on-time, comfortable, and reliable transportation in Midtown Manhattan and Rockaway, Queens. Their safe operations, friendly drivers, and phenomenal leadership staff have become a part of New Yorkers’ everyday commutes.” –Jonathan Figueroa

The Rockaway Ferry is one of the routes that is a part of the New York Ferry Service, launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

National Express Transit’s Chief Executive Officer, Judith Crawford, hopes to further invest in the New York City communities, and is excited about the new partnership that will benefit the residents of Rockaway. NEXT also oversees operations at two other locations in New York City.

“As a leading transportation provider, we are committed to providing the safest, highest-quality transportation services for our customers and the communities we serve – on time, every time,” says Judith.

By closing the gap and making it more convenient for riders to use public transportation, agencies will see increased ridership due to better customer service and an enhanced rider experience. If we can give people less excuses to not use public transportation, we can continue to solve our nation’s economic, energy, and environmental challenges.

Transit Operations Provider