MTA New York City Transit’s Fresh Take on the Customer Service Center

Since the mid 90’s, The MTA New York City Transit Customer Service Center (CSC) has served as the centralized location for customers to visit and access information or assistance for all things related to the services that NYC Transit provides.

The NYC Transit CSC is now in its second home, the first being at the agency’s old Jay Street headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn.  The entrance, at 3 Stone Street in Lower Manhattan, is around the corner from MTA headquarters and just steps away from Whitehall Street, Bowling Green and South Ferry subway stations and served by several local and express bus routes.

Customers visit the CSC seeking services and information on Reduced-Fare MetroCards, Train Delay Verifications, lost and stolen MetroCards, malfunctioning and damaged MetroCards and change of address notifications for Reduced-Fare customers.

While still serviceable, the facility was in need of a major update that would allow it to more efficiently serve customers, and make them as comfortable as possible during their visits. The overall goal was to bring the facility into the 21st century.

The facility has reconfigured its seating arrangements, and received new signage, a queueing system, integrated digital media and an On the Go Travel Station kiosk.  All of these items were installed during off-hours so as not to take these much-needed services offline.  The improvements are aimed at enhancing the customer service experience.

Before the rehabilitation, customers were faced with long lines, poor space utilization, inadequate navigational signage and limited technology.  An important new feature is the installation of the QMatic Orchestra queuing system to help improve customer flow throughout the facility.

Now instead of standing in line, customers can use the Qmatic touchpad to self-select the reason for their visit.  The touchpad produces a number, corresponding to the type of service they require.  With that number, customers can then sit comfortably and wait to be called.  When they’re called, the Customer Service Representative (CSR) is prepared to handle the type of transaction the customer selected.  The new system is heavily based on digital displays and touch-screen technology to keep customers engaged and informed.

“By incorporating digital signage, we’re dramatically upgrading our ability to serve and communicate to our customers who visit the CSC while reducing customer friction points,” said Paul Fleuranges, Vice President, Corporate Communications. “Instead of the static signage we’ve relied on in the past we can now dynamically change and update information about the products and services we offer at the Center as well as provide engaging agency messaging.”

The Qmatic system installed at the Customer Service Contract (CSC) consists of:

  • 1 — QMatic Intro 8 Touch Screen Ticket Printer which dispenses customer queuing numbers;
  • 3 — Qmatic D948 LED Matrix Displays (9×48 pixels) tiered and positioned in the center of the CSC windows to call customers to the next available Customer Service Representative;
  • 7 — QMatic D917R LED Matrix Displays (9×17 pixels) with one (1) positioned above every window to direct customers to the proper Customer Service Representative;
  • QMatic Choral – the audio voice announcer that calls up the customer;
  • 2 — 65” Samsung LCD monitors strategically located within the CSC to that are used to play agency messaging and have a side display to call customers.

Pulling all these items together is Qmatic Orchestra and the Qmatic Cinematic Media Player which alleviates the need to use a PC or LIVE streaming.  The ability to control still and HD moving images allows CSC staff to be creative and deliver important, entertaining and engaging content including queue information, pop ups and moving images one the right screen at the right time during the customer visit.

The CSC’s interactive On The Go kiosk displays bus and train arrival information, maps, service changes and delays. It also gives customers the chance to match wits with a subways inspired interactive game of Tic-Tac-Toe.  The CSC, which serves nearly 100,000 customers each year, has undergone an innovative upgrade that provides customers with greater comfort and improved directions on how to navigate the Center.

“The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.  They are paying for a service and it is our job to work hard to give them the services that they deserve,” said Cross Siclare, NYC Transit’s Assistant Vice President of Customer Relations.  “The more we engage with our customers, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what they need.  The upgraded Customer Service Center will go a long way towards that effort.”

The Qmatic system, which also provides for better tracking of employee – customer engagement and other metrics went live on September 6, 2017.


Brian Gorg

Brian Gorg is the Executive Director of the DSF