The Tyne and Wear Metro is moving more frontline staff onto both stations and trains to care for customers with them also being available for longer each day and with a new more visible look. Passengers on the Metro have long asked for more staff to be available, particularly in the evenings, and these changes will see that introduced between now and Christmas.
There will be more trained teams on duty and there will also be new uniforms to make them more visible. Metro Customer Service Advisors will all have new uniforms which will show their distinct tasks. Roving customer support teams will wear blue jackets and provide a mobile presence across the Metro where its needed the most while concourse teams will wear a red berry coloured uniform and will work at busy stations to offer advice and help customers at ticket machines and when passing through ticket barriers.
John Alexander, Metro Operations Director, said: “Our customers said they wanted to see more staff on duty across the Metro network and we are delivering that. We now have more people than ever before working in frontline roles. The changes we are making allow us to put more staff at stations and on trains, right across the day and night, to provide customer support and deal more effectively with issues of fare evasion and anti-social behaviour. It means we have staff at stations for longer, with ticket gates in use over the entire operational day.
“Customers will see staff in distinctive new uniforms. This provides Metro with a fresh new look as we welcome people back in record numbers and seek to rebuild customer confidence in the network. Crime rates on Metro remain low, but we know that customers are concerned about anti-social behaviour and we are taking steps to address it through these changes to the way that we staff the Metro system.”
These changes mean that more resources are freed up to tackle anti-social behaviour and fare evasion and means that ticket gates will be in use across the entire operational day. It comes as the Metro records the highest passenger numbers in the country with 80% ridership compared to pre-pandemic levels and with customer satisfaction scores at a seven year high.
With extra staff appointed there will be an increase in customer support teams patrolling on board trains and more frequently at outlying stations which are unstaffed. They will have new equipment to support them in these roles, including body-worn CCTV cameras and new two-way radios.