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 Transit News



Jack Gonzalez

 TriMet Employee Billy Smith Wins APTA 2015 Call Center Challenge


The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) crowned Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) employee Billy Smith as the 2015 APTA Call Center Challenge winner.  Smith was announced as the winner at the February 24 competition, which was held at APTA’s 2015 Marketing & Communications Workshop in West Palm Beach, FL.

“Congratulations to Billy Smith and TriMet,” said APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy. “First and foremost, public transportation is a service industry, and Billy exemplifies the important role customer service call agents play, along with the industry’s entire workforce, in providing convenient, safe and efficient service to the riding public.”

“Billy excels at working well with all of our customers, focusing on how best to help each rider,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane. “A rider sent in a compliment that sums up his professionalism: ‘Billy was very informative, extremely polite and gave me wonderful information.’ We’re proud that Billy won the Call Center Challenge, demonstrating how TriMet and our Customer Service Department are dedicated to great service to our community.”

The purpose of the annual APTA Call Center Challenge is to spotlight the importance of customer service within public transportation call centers and to recognize individuals who excel in providing top customer service.  The competition is open to public transportation call center personnel in North America and this year nearly 60 phone customer service representatives entered the challenge.  Seven finalists competed in front of a live audience and were judged on their ability to resolve customer service scenarios.

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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.  More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.

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