In Russia millions of people use commuter transportation services that include commuter trains, buses and minibuses. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not happy about the schedules, frequency of commutes, fares, the comfort and amenities of the vehicles, and the quality of service in general. Can this situation be improved? Experts with the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation are confident that the passengers can pull it off. The important thing is that they should take action rather than sit back and wait for help.
In order to figure out what is going on with the transportation services and how to improve the situation, the Analytical Center is polling passengers across the country. “If we want to improve our commuter transportation services and make life easier for the passengers we need to get feedback from the passengers,” says Deputy Head of the Analytical Center Svetlana Ganeeva. “Anyone who uses commuter transportation services can tell us what they think at опрос-пассажиров.рф(survey website). We are going to analyze the findings and make recommendations for the Ministry of Transport and the Government. The survey will allow us to make recommendations on the basis of what the real situation is like on the ground.”
In early 2016 the Analytical Center conducted a pilot survey in Moscow and Moscow Oblast. It was about the commuter train service. Passengers were asked whether they were satisfied with the service, what improvements they would like to see and whether they would be willing to pay for the improvements. Some important information was collected about fares. 29% of the respondents said the fares were a bit too high; 20% said the service quality did not match the fares charged, while 14% contended that the quality of service was so poor that it justified fare evasion. It was found that more automatic ticket machines were needed on the platforms as the survey found the vast majority of passengers bought single-ride tickets. Express commuter trains with better amenities sound like a promising idea as 86% of the respondents in the Moscow urban agglomeration said they would be willing to pay extra to take such trains.
The survey proved quite effective in terms of the amount and quality of information gathered and the project has been expanded: now the government analysts are surveying passengers across the country, focusing not just on commuter trains but on other commuter transportation services as well. The survey will continue until the end of October. To participate go to http://опрос-пассажиров.рф/