People helping people as they get from here to there

New Haven Line – How are we doing?

February 3rd, 2011  |  Published in announcements, community updates, MNR

In February 2011, in the middle of an especially rough stretch for the commuters, I asked

(1) message volume – does this service generate “too much” mail for you?
(2) message content
is it helpful to know
- if trains are crowded?
- if the heat is on?

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. 40 people wrote back…and I plan to reply to each of you…even if it’s just to say “thanks”
The replies I got were thoughtful and the tone was constructive. I really appreciate it.

The stats are below..but I also want to address a few “themes” / good ideas I also received

  • At least for the next month or so, service on this line will be a challenge…so this is “the new normal”. You should not be surprised if a train is 5-10 minutes late. Certainly, context matters…but always ask yourself “am I sharing something that will help my fellow commuter plan their trip?”
  • More than one person commented that you should NOT send a mail to say things are OK…and I agree. if you’ve never seen our best practices (AKA “rules of the road”), please do…as  this one is a guiding principle for Clever Commute (see http://clevercommute.com/blog/?page_id=22)
  • You want new features (prioritization of messages…make messages more custom to your commute…time of day).
    Believe me, I want to give those to you. But I just do not have the resources to do that now…and I likely can not do that in a free service.
    Message volume systemwide is through the roof…and we pay for that. Yes, advertisers offset some of the expense…but we need more revenue.
    If you have been thinking about donating to Clever Commute…now is a good time.A really good time.
  • Finally, we hear people asking if Clever Commute can take a role in advocating on behalf of the commuters. My reply is to check out the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council (http://www.trainweb.org/ct).
    They are doing great things on your behalf.

The info below is not scientific…but it does imply that we are generally hitting the mark. This should not really be interpreted as a mandate to change anything…but it is a level of transparency…which I think we all appreciate.
It’s also a rather a reminder that we each have different tolerances when it comes to information…and we need to continue to be sensitive to that.

I would advise you to take matters into your own hands and use the tools that you do have.

  • Think about building e-mail filters on “your” side (e.g., mails containing “SRO” can be sent to the trash if you don’t want them).
  • Consider using our mobile app (http://m.clevercommute.com)
  • Check out our Twitter feeds (http://budurl.com/clevertwitter). The feeds need an upgrade…but they WILL be back soon. Sign up now so you are read.

So without further ado:

Volume / Amount of messages
21 said “it’s OK”…at least for now
14 clearly said “we are getting too much mail”
…but 5 did not address it in their replies to us

Crowds / SRO
16 said they like to know about crowds
11 said “do not send SRO mails”
…but 13 did not address it in their replies to us

Heat
15 said they do want to know about heat on the trains
13 said they do NOT want to hear about it
…but 12 did not address it in their replies to us

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