The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is, in part, a service-oriented organization. In order for a service-oriented organization to be successful, it must focus on providing high quality service to its existing customers. By doing so, existing customers become loyal and feel compelled to tell others about their positive experiences with the organization.
Along with its organizational vision and mission, the VTA lists several admirable values that are citizen-focused – dependability, quality, safety, accountability. Unfortunately, the VTA does not regularly measure or report on its efforts to act on these citizen-focused values, so there is no way for the public to understand how well the VTA may be doing with respect to these citizen-focused values.
The VTA does produce reports on its operational performance (e.g. the Transit Operations Performance Report). However, these existing reports are written from the organization’s perspective and focus on ridership and the costs of ridership.
What is missing is a report written from a citizen’s perspective that measures indicators of the citizen-focused values (i.e. dependability, quality, safety, speed, friendliness, and cleanliness). Such a report should provide comparative information for each indicator (e.g. trends over time, results relative to targets, or results compared to other transit agencies) so that the results are put into context. The report should be citizen-friendly – it should use charts and graphs and be written in such a way that the information is easy to read and understand.
One of the VTA’s goals is to “enhance its customer focus” and, as previously mentioned, one of its values is accountability. The VTA has an exciting opportunity to address this goal and display adherence to this value by regularly publishing a reader-friendly document that reports on performance with respect to the VTA’s citizen-focused values.
By focusing its attention on the quality of service it provides to its existing customers, and regularly reporting the results of its efforts to improve service quality, the VTA will demonstrate to the public that it values their patronage and put itself on a path to becoming a truly successful service-oriented organization.