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Complimenting MBTA Drivers is Good for What Ails Us

You don't have to wait for the heroic moments to compliment the MBTA driver who helped make your day better. A driver's tone of voice, how they handle the bus and assist everyone in having a safe ride - these are worth making into a compliment. Your safety and state of mind depend on it. Call the MBTA or submit a comment through their website. It's not about them. It's about you and your peace of mind.

MBTA Bus #16Doing Good Daily

As one of your many good deeds for the day, consider submitting a compliment to the MBTA about the bus driver you rode with today. While we humans tend to ignore the good in other people (it is expected), complimenting others will make them feel good and reduce our blood pressure as well. Offering praise to others is good for what ails us.

Don't wait until your bus driver takes heroic steps to protect public safety as someone puts themselves into harm's way. Simple things are just as noteworthy as the more spectacular. Perhaps what pleased you about the driver did not involve you directly but if the driver helped create a pleasant ambiance by their tone of voice or mannerisms.  If so, then consider the driver worthy of a High Five.

Here are some ideas:
  • Were you and other passengers greeted warmly and respectfully?
  • Was the driver patient and helpful as you tried to add value to that "durned" Charley Card?
  • How quickly did the driver respond to an obvious need for the bus to be lowered to curb level?
  • Were your questions answered? Or at least attended to graciously?
Compliments make a world of difference. What you say will reinforce what is already a good habit. When a driver learns that a customer has been paying attention to their specific behavior, the effect is even more pronounced.

Feedback - The Good and the Not so Good

Let's adopt a habit of "Doing Good Daily." That means we provide feedback on both ends of the Libra Scales of Justice - the good and the not so good but emphasize the good first. Greet the driver on your way in or out of the bus. When you can, offer a compliment.

According to Customer Service, the MBTA receives more customer complaints than compliments. A driver whose behavior is not acceptable (in your opinion) is also worth commenting about. Psychologically, comments about the problematic driver may be more difficult to express depending on your state of annoyance and anger.

Are there so many more problematic MBTA drivers? Probably not. Customers tend to remember what upset them and to write in with their complaints. They forget about the good.

Most MBTA drivers are doing a great job. Let's make a commitment this year, this day, to say thank you to everyone who helped make our day better including the driver seated on the MBTA throne with the knowledge and ability to get you to your destination.

Submitting a Comment is Easy

It can take a while to get into the habit, but once established, the process for submitting a compliment to the MBTA is simple and straightforward.

When you identify behavior that pleased you / displeased you, make note of what you saw/heard (so you don't forget), the date, time, route number and bus number. Ask the driver their badge number.  Even drivers with good behavior act surprised so let them know what you are up to.  "I'd like to submit a compliment about you to the MBTA. May I please have your badge number." Invariably, the driver will be surprised and delighted.

Go to MBTA.com, hover over Customer Support and click on Customer Comment or click here: http://www.mbta.com/customer_support/feedback/. Alternatively, call them at 617.222.3200.

At the bottom is an excerpt from the Online Comments Page. The field labelled "Write to the Top" is defaulted to "NO." If you want your comment to go directly to top management for that area of MBTA operations, click YES.

After submitting your comment online, you will receive an incident number via email so that you can reference your comments later.

MBTA Customer Comment Form

Posted: June 3, 2013 Nancy J Conrad

Your comments will be posted here and in the Letters to the Editor after processing.


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