International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike ... advertising ¢â‚¬¢Cash lane handouts and door knob hangers

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  • Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority

    Restoring Trust Protecting Revenue Peg Terry

    Senior Vice President and General Counsel

  • Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Background Information

    • 1933 – Created

    • 1968 – Joined MTA

    • 9 tolled crossings in NYC • 7 bridges, 2 tunnels

    • 310M transactions in 2017

    • Generates toll surplus: • $1.9 billion in toll revenue

    • $1.1 billion in transit support

    2

  • Cashless Tolling: Cautious to Cashless in Less Than a Year

    3

    • E-ZPass early adopter with gated lanes at all but HHB until 1/2017

    • Gateless in 1/2011 and cashless in 11/2012 at HHB

    • Cashless at remaining 8 facilities from 1/2017 to 9/30/2017

    Gated

    E-ZPass Lanes

    1996 to Sept. 2017

    (HHB gateless

    Jan. 2011)

    TBTA President

    Michael Ascher

    Henry Hudson Bridge

    Cashless

    Nov. 2012

    MTA Chairman

    Jay Walder

    NY Crossings

    Project

    Jan. 2017 to Sept. 2017

    N.Y. Governor

    Andrew Cuomo

  • What We Didn’t Account For: A Loss of Customer Trust

    Problem

    • High E-ZPass violation rate

    • High E-ZPass complaint volume

    Result

    • Lost trust of E-ZPass customers

    • Lost trust of elected officials

    Goal

    • Regaining customer confidence

    • Protect revenue and support to transit

    Solution

    • Help customers avoid violations and fees

    • Improve customer service

    4

  • An Unpleasant Surprise: A Surge in E-ZPass Violations

    • Unlike tiny violation rate at Henry Hudson Bridge

    • 0.4% at HHB for 2016 violations as of 12/31/2017

    • Unlike low violation rate in gated E-ZPass lanes

    • 160,000 retained CSC tags in 2016

    • 1,646,000 E-ZPass violations in 2017

    5

    0.00%

    0.20%

    0.40%

    0.60%

    0.80%

    1.00%

    1.20%

    1.40%

    1.60%

    1.80%

    Violation Rate as of Feb 2018

  • A Rude Awakening: E-ZPass Violation Complaints and Calls Spike

    • More and longer E-ZPass violation

    calls at Customer Service Center

    (CSC)

    • More E-ZPass violation complaints

    • 1.5/month average in 2016

    • 4.75/month average in 2017

    • 55/month average in 2018

    • Proposed legislation

    • Violation fee amnesty

    • Caps on violation fees

    6

    0

    20,000

    40,000

    60,000

    80,000 Customer Service Center Call Volume

    2018

    2017

  • The Three Types of E-ZPass Violators

    Low Information Customers

    “I thought I’d get a toll bill”

    Can be taught

    Victims

    “But I mailed my payment”

    Benefit from better customer service

    Cheaters

    “Stop me if you can”

    Need to be deterred while others not unduly punished

    7

  • Explaining the Surge in E-ZPass Violations

    • Low information: • No toll bills for negative balance violations • Didn’t think to “bag their tags”

    • Most violations from negative balances • At risk accounts without automatic replenishment • Declined or rejected payment methods

    • Absence of in-lane feedback • Gates • Low balance lights • Tag retention

    • Retaining tags lowered violations in region

    8

  • Complaints Reveal The Reasons

    • Performance problems at Customer Service Center

    • Long call wait times • Terminated calls • Untimely violation payment

    processing • Late violation notices • Not meeting performance

    standards

    • Willing to pay tolls but not violations

    9

    0:00

    1:00

    2:00

    3:00

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    5:00

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    J a

    n -1

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    M a r-

    1 7

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    J u

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    A u

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    -1 7

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    F e b

    -1 8

    M a r-

    1 8

    M in

    u te

    s

    Average CSC Phone Call Wait Times

    General E-Zpass Call Unit

    Violations Call Unit

  • Old Focus: E-ZPass is the solution, not the problem

    • Widened the gap between cash or

    Tolls by Mail and E-ZPass

    • Easier for customers to switch to E-

    ZPass

    • Pay Per Trip to pay tolls daily from

    checking account

    • MTA Reload Card to replenish

    account with cash at retail outlets

    • 1 million On-the-Go tags sold in lanes,

    now at DMV

    10

  • A Critical Piece: E-ZPass Market Share

    11

    73% 74% 74% 75%

    77%

    80% 81%

    84% 84% 86% 86%

    94%

    60%

    80%

    100%

    2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

    (End of Year)

  • Old Focus: Switch to E-ZPass and Save

    12

    • “Save money with E-ZPass” TV ad

    • Multi-media, multi-lingual

    • Print, radio, website and social media

    advertising

    • Cash lane handouts and door knob

    hangers

    • Direct mail and E-ZPass statement

    inserts

    • Pop-ups at public libraries, street fairs

    and shopping centers

  • Old Focus: How to Avoid Toll Bills

    • “Mount your tags to avoid toll bills” email blast

    13

  • New Focus: Helping Avoid Negative Balances

    • Credit Card Updater Program

    • Transaction 10-day retry policy

    • Low balance emails and texts

    • Account maintenance alerts • Mail, email and text • Declined or rejected cards • Rejected ACH payments

    14

  • New Focus: Account Management Education

    • Promote enrollment in mobile alerts

    • Low balance alerts

    • Information about credit or debit cards

    • Educate customers about account management

    • Replenish account after inadvertent violations

    • Consider automatic replenishment

    • “Next: “Bag Your Tag” campaign

    • Includes read prevention bag

    15

  • Mobile Alerts Email and Inserts

  • Avoid E-ZPass Violations - Print

  • E-ZPass Violations Email & Insert

  • New Focus: Improved CSC Customer Service and Oversight

    • Strengthening customer service at CSC • Added staff and redistributed call overflow to Endicott

    • Improved call line capacity

    • Improving timeliness of violation notices

    • New performance standard for violation payment processing

    • Developing new tools to track CSC customer satisfaction

    • Next: improved online access to E-ZPass account data

    19

  • Old Focus: Violation fees are the solution, not the problem

    • $50 violation fee effective in 2011

    • Violations to deter toll evasion and protect revenue and support to transit

    • Works as intended at HHB with low tolls and no trucks

    • Too soon to tell for last three facilities with higher tolls and trucks

    • Increased violation fee to $100 in 2017 • Kept $50 fee for HHB and Rockaway Bridges

    20

  • New Focus: Teaching customers to avoid violations and fees

    • New 30-day grace period for first E-ZPass violation • No fee if tolls paid within 30 days

    • Better than sending toll bills to E-ZPass violators

    • Minor impact on revenue

    • Better than fee amnesty program or capped fees

    • Pilot to measure how it educates customers, deters toll evasion and protects revenue recovery

    21

  • New Focus: Educating customers through the violation notice and direct outreach to at risk customers

    • Revised 1st notice and added insert

    • Avoid violation fees by paying tolls within 30 days

    • Direct mail to at risk customers

    • Reminders about automatic replenishment and mobile alerts

    • Customer card

    22

  • E-ZPass Customer Card

  • Are We Regaining Customer Trust?

    • Too soon to tell, but some signs are good • Only 6 months after agency-wide Cashless Tolling • Brand new fee policy change

    • In the Legislature • Fee amnesty and capped fees not in the Budget • Session extends to end of June

    • Developing metrics and baselines, tracking performance and responding as needed

    24

  • E-ZPass Violation-Related Customer Complaints

    25

    0

    5

    10

    15

    20

    25

    30

    1/2/2018 1/30/2018 2/27/2018 3/27/2018

    Weekly E-ZPass Violation Related Complaints

  • Tangible Service Improvements at CSC

    • Marked improvement in call wait times

    January

    2018

    March

    2018

    Percent

    Decrease

    E-ZPass

    Related

    Calls