Annual satisfaction survey
Every year, the independent research agency IPSOS collects the opinion of thousands of travellers at the request of the Brussels-Capital Region. The agency uses the exact same survey method each time. This measurement is stipulated in the management contract. This enables us to better follow the evolution of the customer satisfaction.
So, during the last quarter of 2017, between October 25 and December 27, at the request of the Brussels-Capital Region, IPSOS collected the opinion of 9100 travellers: 6500 via the website and 2600 by phone. About 4000 customers' suggestions were also gathered.
The satisfaction barometer is one of the main sources of information for STIB/MIVB in order to better comprehend the expectations of its customers, to evaluate the strengths and to improve the weaker points.
An enhanced customer experience
In 2016, for the first time in years, the number of journeys did not increase for STIB/MIVB. This was due to the aftermath of 22 March 2016 attacks. The number of journeys increased again in 2017. Thanks to a 9% growth compared to 2016, STIB/MIVB finished 2017 with 401 million journeys.
The fares were not increased in 2017. Moreover, the price of a school season pass remained identical as in 2016, being limited to a maximum of € 50 for the first two children and free from the third child onwards. The online purchase process was also considerably simplified thanks to "GO EASY". Now you can directly load your transport ticket on a MOBIB or MOBIB Basic card by using an eID card reader. A transport ticket that one buys online is thus immediately available.
The perception of safety was increased as well. Initially, the presence of STIB/MIVB agents, the police and the military was intended to reassure the travellers. 107 additional security agents were deployed to provide an added reassuring presence in several metro stations. These agents are now being systematically replaced by extra STIB/MIVB personnel. A common emergency number (1707) was also launched to report any suspicious object or behaviour noticed when travelling with public transportation in Brussels.
STIB/MIVB did not receive any new vehicle in 2017, but started the purchase process for new metros, trams and buses. The transport offer has been optimised, without any budgetary impact. The first departures of a number of tram and metro lines were brought forward and the service of line 71 has been extended on Thursday nights until 3 AM.
The accessibility has also been improved: 23 escalators were renewed in the stations and 9 new elevators were installed in the stations Delta, Trône/Troon, Simonis and Botanique/Kruidtuin.
In 2017, STIB/MIVB continued its efforts in real-time traveller information by installing 470 new waiting time displays at the above-ground stops. There are now 1457 displays on the STIB/MIVB network, including 815 displays (IVEC) (with batteries) at the stops. On top of that, 65 extra displays with information about connections were installed in the metro stations. Free Wi-Fi is now also available in all the (pre)metro stations. Furthermore, the website has been redesigned: stib.be is responsive, the network plan is dynamic and the journey planner has been improved.
Nowadays, more and more people are reached by STIB/MIVB through social media. The number of followers on Twitter increased from 75,000 in 2016 to 110,000 in 2017. There has been an increase for the Facebook fans as well, from 66,000 in 2016 to 75,000 in 2018. The Customer Care teams who manage social media daily handled more than 107,000 messages from travellers in 2017.
A conscious choice
53% of the customers surveyed responded that they opt for STIB/MIVB because of its advantages. According to them, the main advantages are: no parking problems (66%), better for the environment (65%) and it is faster (60%).
The majority of the customers (67%) travel more than 10 times a week. It comes as no surprise that the peak usage occurs between 7 and 9 AM (64% of the users) and 4 and 6 PM (67% of the users).
Also noteworthy is that 4 out of 5 users respond reaching the station or stop on foot, while 9% of them first take the train. A little less than 50% of the respondents state using the services of STIB/MIVB mainly for commuting to work.
Most frequently used lines
Metro lines 2 (36%), 5 (35%) and 1 (33%) are most often used. Tram lines 7 (21%), 3 (20%) and 4 (18%) turn out to be the most popular tram lines. Bus lines 71 (11%) and 95 (9%) are also intensively used by our travellers.
STIB/MIVB kept Brussels moving
In 2017, the travellers gave STIB/MIVB an overall score of 7.1/10. This means that the satisfaction remained stable after three consecutive years of improvement.
75% of the customers surveyed gave STIB/MIVB a score equal to or higher than 7/10 in 2017. That number remained stable when compared with the results for 2016.
1 out of 5 travellers believe that mobility with STIB/MIVB has improved over the past 12 months, while 48% think that the mobility in Brussels generally deteriorated in 2017.
The score of the tram and metro lines improves slightly and is currently 7.2/10. As regards the score given by the exclusive users of the bus, which is the mode that suffers the most from the traffic density in Brussels, it remains stable at 7.0/10.
The customers surveyed indicate that they mostly use the metro: 4 out of 5 users say they take the metro (82%). 66% of the respondents use the tram lines and 55% the bus lines. The number of customers using different modes of transport is increasing every year.
The frequencies, punctuality, comfort, connections and travel times still have a major impact on the customer satisfaction, and this since 2011.
The "frequencies" remain the most important aspect of the services according to our customers. "Punctuality" moves up a position and now comes before "comfort" in the order of importance for the customers.
The perception of safety (during the day) and the fares are improving. The assessment of the comfort, the customer-orientated attitude of the STIB/MIVB personnel, the driving style of the drivers, the evening offer, the perception of safety in the evening, the website and the availability of the elevators remained stable, like the overall satisfaction.
The scores for the frequencies, punctuality, connections, travel times, information (in general and audio messages in the stations), the cleanliness, the Contact Center, the accessibility of the vehicles for bicycles and the availability of the escalators lose one tenth of a point. Chart: Evolution of the scores of the main criteria of the services
The bond between the customers and the STIB/MIVB personnel was strengthened due to the difficulties they experienced together in 2016. The customer-orientated attitude of the STIB/MIVB personnel in general achieves – like in 2016 – a score of 7.0/10. The satisfaction regarding the Contact Center is decreasing. On the other hand, the services provided by the BOOTIK and KIOSK personnel are better perceived and achieve one of the highest scores from the survey (7.5/10).
As a result of the extra safety measures after the events of 22 March 2016, the perception of safety of the travellers in general remains stable.
The presence of the STIB/MIVB personnel, the police, the military and the additional security agents ensured that the perception of safety during the day improved in the metro and trams. Compared to 2016 the perception of safety remained stable in the stations during the day (7.2/10) and in the evening (5.6/10).
The perception of safety in the bus loses a tenth of a point, both in the evening (6.4/10) and during the daytime (7.4/10). At the above-ground stops, the perception of safety also decreases (from 5.9 to 5.7/10). This remains one of the main focal points for 2016.
Comfort while waiting in the stations and at the above-ground stops
In terms of waiting comfort, the customers surveyed indicate a deterioration of the management of the cleanliness at the above-ground stops (decreases from 6.3 to 6.2/10). The cleanliness in the stations remained stable, even though the rubbish bins were closed in the metro stations.
The satisfaction regarding the classic information channels (network and district maps and timetables) at the above-ground stops remains stable. Despite the installation of 470 extra waiting time battery displays, the satisfaction of the displays at the stops decreased slightly, going from 7.7 to 7.6/10. The waiting time displays in the metro stations achieve the highest score of the entire survey (8.1/10).
New information channels
The survey participants give a score of 7.0/10 for the information in the vehicles (displays, audio messages). The information through social media (Facebook, Twitter) obtains a score of 7.2/10. However, compared to 2016, the scores for both information channels drop slightly.
Fares and sales channels
Freezing the fares and adjusting the pricing of the school season passes have a positive impact on the satisfaction. For the third year in a row, the satisfaction regarding the fares increased to 6.7/10 (vs. 6.5 in 2016).
All main sales channels are improving. Of all the items analysed in the annual satisfaction survey, the online purchasing experience makes the greatest progress. Thanks to the new service "GO EASY", the satisfaction increases from 7.2/10 in 2016 to 7.5/10 in 2017. Moreover, the satisfaction related to the purchasing experience at the vending machines (GO) achieves a score of 7.5/10 (7.3/10 in 2016).
After a difficult 2016 and a significant growth of the number of travellers, STIB/MIVB succeeds in 2017 to consolidate the satisfaction level of its travellers.
The efforts of STIB/MIVB and its personnel to improve the customer experience in 2017 are bearing fruit. Just like in 2016, the satisfaction of the STIB/MIVB travellers achieves a score of 7.1/10. In 2013, the overall satisfaction amounted to 6.6/10. After 3 years of steady progress, the highest score achieved is therefore confirmed.
3 out of 4 customers surveyed gave STIB/MIVB a score equal to or higher than 7/10. The satisfaction of the exclusive users of the metro and tram increases slightly (7.2/10). The satisfaction of the customers only using the bus remains stable compared to 2016 (7.0/10).
The priorities of the travellers remain the frequencies, punctuality, comfort, the quality of the connections and the travel times. The frequencies are the most important of all criteria according to the users surveyed. Punctuality takes the second place.
The online purchasing experience (7.5/10), the GO vending machines (7.5/10), the fares (6.7/10), the journey planner on the website (7.1/10) and the perception of safety during the day in the metro (7.3/10) are the aspects of the services surveyed for which satisfaction is increasing the most in 2017.
Thanks to the satisfaction barometer, STIB/MIVB knows the major issues regarding customer experience. Points of attention are the frequencies of the NOCTIS lines (4.6/10), the quality of the connections between 8 PM and midnight (5.3/10) and during the weekend (5.4/10), the frequencies during the weekend (5.5/10) and the comfort while waiting at the above-ground stops (5.5/10).
In 2018, essential aspects of STIB/MIVB services will be improved and (procurement) projects will be started to further develop the long-term transport offer.
The tram offer will be improved in 2018. For example, the new line 9 will connect Simonis with UZ Brussel and line 94 will be extended to provide a connection with the metro at Roodebeek.
Progressively, the bus offer will also be improved. STIB/MIVB starts in 2018 with a new bus master plan and buses will be delivered to improve the service of the pedestrian zone.
In addition, STIB/MIVB is working on procurement projects for 43 new metro trains (M7), 145 new trams and around 600 new buses.
STIB/MIVB is working on a new mobile app. The journey planner will be integrated in this new version and the users will be able to personalise their app.
STIB/MIVB will also improve the information services on the network, for example by installing 120 extra waiting time displays at the stops and 24 displays in the metro stations that should facilitate the connections for the customers.
Moreover, STIB/MIVB is developing a complete information plan to reduce the impact of the closure of the Leopold II tunnel and other building projects in the summer on the customer experience.
In 2018, the fare freeze will remain in force. This means that the price of the season passes and transport tickets will not increase.