Canberra Metro Operations and Transport Canberra recently completed the first extensive partial shutdown of the light rail network, with buses replacing light rail services between Gungahlin Place and EPIC & Racecourse stops for 2 weeks in January 2021. During the shutdown CMET Customer Service Officers were on the ground assisting passengers to ensure their journey was as seamless as possible.
How did the role of the CSOs change for the network partial shutdown?
We spent a lot more time on the light rail stops, especially Dickson Interchange, ensuring that passengers were aware of the best service to catch. Light rail went all the way to EPIC & Racecourse stop, but it was better for those passengers travelling to Gungahlin to get on the bus at Dickson, so their journey was easier. We would get on board the light rail and let everyone know that Dickson was the best stop for them to transfer to the Gungahlin-bound bus.
If passengers had bikes we would recommend a local Transport Canberra service to them, which would be able to accommodate their bike.
Just as we always do, our job is a lot about assisting with issues and resolving them as best we can.
What additional challenges did you and the team face during that time?
I think the biggest challenge for us was explaining the changes to passengers who did not have strong English skills. We would work to convey our message clearly so that all of our passengers were able to understand, even if it took more time. Sometimes people would be disgruntled, so managing to resolve those situations could be challenging.
What was feedback from light rail passengers?
The majority of passengers are looking forward to the Sandford Street stop opening. Some people ask about the construction, and I let them know that shortly the roof will be craned in, they seem quite impressed by that!
What is the most common interaction you have with light rail passengers?
Generally, we will get questions, mostly about MyWay and tickets. We will help passengers buy tickets or direct them to their nearest MyWay agent to purchase a card.
The CMET CSO team have a diverse range of experience that they bring to the job. Hear all about Pauline’s background, and how it helps her in her role with CMET, on the UnCover Canberra Podcast.
What would you say to anyone considering a role with CMET?
The job is very rewarding. As a Customer Service Officer, you have to be patient, well-mannered and remember you are an ambassador for the light rail. We are here to help, so always make yourself available for any questions, any time.
You can hear more from Pauline on the University of Canberra UnCover Canberra podcasts, available here.
Stay up-to-date with the new Sandford Street stop at Mitchell on the project website here.