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Shaping our products and services with a customer focus

Customer Research – connecting with millennial customers

Conducting strategic customer research delivers relevant information to better understand customer needs and expectations.

For example, millennials will represent over 70 per cent of the global workforce by 2025. In late 2019, the department explored how to best engage with millennials, the internet generation, 'Net Gen', connecting with over 1100 millennial customers through a multi-phased customer research approach that included:

  • current state analysis
  • a desktop and literature review
  • surveying 1141 millennial customers through Transport Talk
  • co-design workshops
  • analysis of how to enhance communications and engagement.

Understanding our customers

To ensure that the priorities in the department's Strategic Plan 2019–23 include the voice of our customers, the department uses its Customer Value Proposition as a framework to understand customer experiences across its products and services. Co-designed with customers and employees, the Customer Value Proposition is made up of three dimensions that provide a triple bottom line for evaluating customer experiences:

  • Customer Care (respectful and responsive)
  • User Experience (affordable and efficient)
  • Information (timely and accurate).

The Customer Value Proposition supports a whole of department approach to gathering and sharing customer insights and identifying opportunities for improvement. Regardless of the product or service, the quality of the customer experience will be influenced by how well it delivers respectful and responsive customer care, an affordable and efficient user experience, and timely and accurate information.

The optimal benefit, from a customer perspective, will be when all three dimensions of the Customer Value Proposition are delivered in line with customer needs and expectations. The Customer Value Proposition unpins all department research projects.

Customer Experience Hub

The Director-General's innovation challenge, 'Hack 19 – how can the department make active transport more accessible and appealing so that people use active transport more often?' saw finalists participate in an eight week innovation sprint using Human Centred Design principles to discover, ideate, prototype, and test their ideas. The concepts investigated included online gamification and incentivisation to encourage:

  • active transport choices for school children and commuters
  • online journey planning that integrates active transport options so our customers can have a multimodal experience when using our network.

While the concepts were presented in person to a panel of judges, the innovation sprint was delivered as a 100 per cent virtual activity to encourage more regional participation. This format provided excellent learnings which the department used when faced with the challenge of delivering innovation sprints in the COVID-19 restricted environment.

The ability to adapt and continue to innovate by empowering people to do and see things differently, delivers great value for customers.

Accessibility and Inclusion Strategy

Through an extensive co-design process, the department has developed an Accessibility and Inclusion Strategy (AIS). The strategy, scheduled for launch in July 2020, outlines the department's commitment to leading the delivery of accessible and inclusive transport products, services, information, and infrastructure, as well as the department's workplaces and practices.

The AIS will include goals, objectives, focus areas, key government priorities and a roadmap to initiate change, embed guiding principles, and transform inclusive and accessible transport across Queensland.

To ensure the AIS reflects the needs and expectations of all Queenslanders, it was designed with over 200 customers, employees, delivery partners and representatives from the accessibility and inclusion sector over a three month consultation process in late 2019.

A range of accessibility and inclusion surveys were distributed and completed in June 2020 by more than 1500 customers, 1100 employees and 100 industry partners. The surveys captured various insights and provided important benchmarks to measure performance.

These insights will be used to support the development of the Accessibility and Inclusion Action Plan which will fall under the AIS.

Read more about our Accessibility and Inclusion Strategy.

Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002

The department in partnership with the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, formed the National Accessible Transport Taskforce in July 2019.

Taskforce is driving the reform and modernisation of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards), following four principles endorsed by the Transport and Infrastructure Council, which sits under the Council of Australian Government. These four principles are:

  • people with disability have a right to access public transport
  • accessibility is a service, not an exercise in compliance
  • solutions should meet the service needs of all stakeholders and be developed through co-design
  • reform should strive for certainty without sacrificing best functional outcome.

Taskforce members include representatives from the disability community, the Australian, state and territory governments, industry, and accessibility subject matter experts.

The department is both Chair and Secretariat and hosted Taskforce meetings in September 2019 and February 2020.

The Taskforce has developed several ideas for initial reforms, fitting within five themes:

  • improving the accessibility of infrastructure
  • improving access on conveyances
  • making information more accessible
  • improving the whole of journey
  • providing flexible and innovative solutions to challenging situations.

In late April 2020, the Transport and Infrastructure Senior Officials Committee endorsed the Taskforce to develop initial ideas for reform and test them for feasibility, before consulting with broader stakeholder groups.

The Taskforce intends to work closely with people with disability, public transport operators and providers, and other interested stakeholders throughout the modernisation process.

It is developing strategies to engage stakeholders and keep them informed to ensure their meaningful participating in the public consultation phases of the reform and modernisation process.

It is expected that stakeholders will have the opportunity to contribute to the reforms in the second half of 2020 or early 2021.

Read more about the Reform of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002.

School Bus Upgrade Scheme (SchoolBUS)

In 2019–20 the department funded $4.02 million for 56 school buses and $1.35 million for 45 Specialist School Buses for Students with Disabilities Transport through the School Bus Upgrade Scheme (SchoolBUS).

The scheme provides capital funding to assist contracted school bus operators to replace their fleet with buses that meet the latest safety standards. This ensures that safety for students travelling to and from school on contracted services is maximised.

Read more about the School Bus Upgrade Scheme.

QLDTraffic continues to evolve to meeting customer needs

This suite of services is continuing to be enhanced to meet the needs of Queenslanders via a website, smart phone apps, a phone service, and open data feeds. QLDTraffic provides travellers with up-to-date traffic and road condition information, allowing informed journey decisions.

Key improvements delivered to services over the past year have included:

  • reliability of the smartphone apps
  • inclusion of Bureau of Meteorology weather radar overlays on the QLDTraffic website, enabling users to see weather conditions which may impact road conditions
  • publishing images associated with events, such as images of flooded roads, to provide motorists with information about road conditions
  • enhancements to open data feeds, enabling easier integration of QLDTraffic event information with other apps and services.

The services continue to see significant use throughout the year with:

  • the application being downloaded 47,542 times
  • the website accessed more than two million times
  • more than 180,000 phones calls received by the 13 19 40 phone service
  • instigating more than 41,000 tweets.

The graph below shows the number of phone calls, website and mobile application visits and Twitter posts experienced in the 2019–20 financial year.

Figure 3: Peak usage of 13 19 40, website traffic and usage of QLDTraffic app

Usage of the 131940 phone line, the QLD traffic app, website and Twitter over the last year. There was a large spike in February 2020 
Phone calls QLDTraffic website visits App visits Twitter posts

The February 2020 peak correlates to the late wet season in north Queensland, and the low points in March-April 2020 correlates with access restrictions in place across Queensland due to COVID-19.

Smart Ticketing

The Smart Ticketing project is delivering a new, seamless, and integrated ticketing experience across Queensland and has achieved significant advancement of system delivery during 2019–20.

The investment in Smart Ticketing demonstrates the department's commitment to ensuring Queensland’s public transport network meets the needs of customers. Smart Ticketing will deliver the following benefits:

  • more ways to pay for travel including contactless debit and credit cards, smartphones and wearable devices, cash, and go card
  • upgrades to ticketing equipment with smarter technology and improved reliability
  • access to an enhanced website and app for customers to manage their account on the go
  • ability to use payment options throughout South East Queensland and 18 regional urban public transport networks by late 2022
  • introduction of real-time information to regional centres enabling customers to track the arrival time of their service.

In 2019–20, the project recorded the following achievements:

  • engagement with a range of stakeholders to inform system design and development, including transport operators and accessibility representatives
  • completion of detailed planning and design in preparation for customer trials
  • completion of regional bus trials in Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), Fraser Coast (Maryborough and Hervey Bay), Innisfail, and Bowen
  • successful express gate trials at Central Station
  • development of a range of plans and policies to support the rollout
  • progression of commercial agreements with financial scheme providers
  • commencement of Smart Ticketing customer trials of new hardware on Gold Coast Light Rail.

Read more about Smart Ticketing.

One month vehicle registration renewals

In response to cost of living pressures, the department introduced a new one month vehicle registration renewal term in February 2020.

The one month term enables customers to make smaller, more manageable registration renewal payments. The new term compliments the existing 3, 6 and 12 month registration terms, providing choice for customers to select the term that suits their needs.

To access the new term, customers enrol in the department's direct debit service, which provides a convenient automatic payment. As part of the introduction several enhancements were also made to the direct debit service, which delivered a more user friendly product for customers and enabled broader access to this service.

Read more about one month vehicle registration renewal.

Robotic Process Automation technology improves efficiency

The department is embracing the future by piloting Robotic Process Automatic technology to process learner logbooks.

The trial started in June 2019, and has resulted in an estimated time saving of 13 minutes per logbook, which is an 87 per cent efficiency gain, a better customer experience, faster processing times, enables staff to focus on important customer-centric activities and has released staff to do more in depth investigating and editing of logbooks.

The application configures software to capture, imitate or learn activities, and complete a process the same way a person would (or be trained to complete a process a certain way).

It is applied to highly repetitive, rule-based tasks that require manual input, such as processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses, and communicating with other digital systems.

PrepL Supervisor Course

Over 1000 supervisors have already benefited from the October 2019 launch of the PrepL Supervisor Course, targeted at learner driver supervisors.

The course includes specialist guides and lesson plans for supervisors. It starts with driving basics and progresses to more complex driving situations. The course provides advice on how to deal with stressful situations and communicate effectively. It also includes a video demonstration of how to develop a learner driver’s hazard perception skills.

The course draws on PrepL’s road rule information, providing interactive scenarios for anyone wanting to refresh their road rules knowledge.

It can be completed at the user's own pace, at any time, using a compatible smartphone, tablet or computer.

Read more about the PrepL Supervisor Course.

Driving Licensing Unit in Hope Vale

In a bid to help improve road safety and reduce unlicensed driving in far north Queensland, a mobile unit is making licensing services more accessible to people in remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The Indigenous Driver Licensing Program reaches communities as far as Hope Vale, located about 370 kilometres north of Cairns, for residents who can’t access mainstream customer service centres. The team offers residents practical driver licence testing, as well as driver licence replacements, renewals and photo identification cards.

Proposed changes to the Disability Parking Permit Scheme

The Disability Parking Permit Scheme helps over 190,000 Queenslanders go about their daily business by providing access to conveniently located disability parking bays.

Following community feedback, the Minister for Transport and Main Roads requested a review to assess the feasibility of expanding eligibility for the scheme to include people with a vision impairment. The outcomes of the review, which included consultation with vision impaired organisations, other community groups, and other jurisdictions, recognised the unique mobility challenges faced by people with a severe vision impairment. Careful consideration was also given to the impacts that changes to the scheme may have on existing permit holders.

On 26 November 2019, the Minister introduced the Transport Legislation (Disability Parking and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2019 to the Queensland Parliament. Subject to passage, the bill will expand the scheme to include vision impaired persons diagnosed as 'legally blind' on a permanent or temporary basis and will double the penalty for illegally parking in a disability parking bay.

Debate on the Bill commenced on 17 March 2020, however due to COVID-19 was delayed. The department is working towards a proposed implementation date as soon as practicable after passage of the legislation. A Ministerial Disability Parking Summit will bring together key stakeholders who through communication, education, awareness, and enforcement all play a role in improving access to improving access to disability parking spaces for scheme members.

Taxi Subsidy Scheme

The Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) is an initiative designed to provide an affordable and accessible transport option for people with severe disability.

At the end of 2019–20 the scheme was assisting 56,010 Queenslanders to access more affordable taxi travel.

The TSS includes a subsidy paid by the Queensland Government of half the total taxi fare, up to a maximum of $25 per trip, and access to subsidised taxi travel in other Australian states and territories.

During 2019–20, 1,704,760 taxi trips were taken by TSS members, with subsidies of over $13.5million (ex GST) paid. As at 30 June 2020, the department paid an average subsidy of $7.89 (inc. GST) per trip.

The Queensland Government also allocated $6.34 million to the Lift Payments incentive for drivers of wheelchair accessible taxis (WAT) to prioritise services to TSS members identified as requiring a wheelchair to travel. This Lift Payment incentive is paid in addition to the TSS payment.

In 2019–20, 347,365 trips attracted the Lift Payment providing incentive to WAT drivers and improving service to TSS members requiring a wheelchair.

Read more about the Taxi Subsidy Scheme.

End of registration labels

After a statewide consultation process was undertaken, significant support was received from industry and the boating public to no longer display a registration label on boats and personal watercraft. Automatic posting of registration certificates has also ceased for most registration transactions. Customers can still access their registration certificate via the department's online service.

Removal of registration labels from boats and watercraft delivers a range of customer benefits including time savings, loss of labels, aligning with vehicle and trailer label requirements, and removing offences for not displaying a registration label. The initiative also sees the department save approximately $400,000 each year.

Customers are reminded of their registration renewal date by receiving notices four weeks before the registration is due, and a reminder notice for those customers who have forgotten to pay on time. Customers can also register for free e-reminder and direct debit services, check the registration status and expiry date of any vessel using the online Check Registration Status tool, or by downloading the QLD Rego Check app.

Enforcement officers continue to actively enforce vessel registration.

Read more about the changes to boat registration stickers.

Passenger Transport Accessible Infrastructure program

This statewide grants program provides funding assistance to local governments upgrading their existing passenger transport facilities to comply with the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

These funding contributions allow local governments to:

  • enhance safety and accessibility of the transport network for everyone
  • modernise passenger transport facilities to comply with the Act
  • apply consistent design standards across the passenger transport network.

In 2019–20, over $5 million of funding assistance was provided to 17 local governments across Queensland to support upgrades of over 700 urban bus stops to meet accessibility standards. In addition, approximately $140,000 was provided towards upgrading long-distance coach stops in regional and remote areas.

The success of these programs is built on the partnership approach with local governments and other state government agencies, working together to deliver a single integrated transport network accessible to everyone.

Read more about accessible bus stops in regional Queensland.

Providing consistent technical advice to inform decisions

One of the four functions of the Accessible Transport Network team is the provision of consistent technical advice to inform decisions across the development, implementation and upgrading of all the department’s products, services and infrastructure.

It has provided ongoing review of major projects for access and inclusion, including Cross River Rail, Gold Coast Light Rail procurement and Gold Coast Infill Station accessibility.

Specific technical advice has been given on discrete projects, including:

  • Southern Moreton Bay Ferry terminals
  • Car parks at Springfield Central, Varsity Park ‘n’ ride 
  • Pimpama Exit 49 Interchange
  • Rockhampton Ring Road
  • West Creek Cycle Path
  • Minden Interchange
  • Morayfield Interchange temporary bus stop location
  • Rest stop auditing project.

Collaboration with other divisions to review and develop new technical and policy documents include:

  • Public Transport Infrastructure Manual
  • Public Transport Conveyance Manual
  • New cycling and pedestrian's guideline – Bicycle rider and pedestrian underpass.

Participation in policy and technical development projects including:

  • National Asset Centre of Excellence 014 access project, a critical review of design and development practices that relate to access for people with a disability
  • pedestrian wayfinding and signage
  • Queensland Rail Accessibility Reference groups.

Actions contained in the Disability Action Plan 2018–2022 are being implemented to improve the accessibility of the passenger transport network for customers with disability.

Third Disability Action Plan to improve the accessibility on the state network

Actions contained in the Disability Action Plan 2018–2022 are being implemented to improve the accessibility of the passenger transport network for customers with disability.

The $2.7 million lift at Queen Street bus station opened in August 2019, making platform 2 accessible to everyone. Funding for this project was provided through the department's Passenger Transport Infrastructure Investment Program.

May 2020 saw the completion of the second rollout of Bus Stop Blade Sign Braille ID numbers to improve access for people with vision impairment. Locations included bus stops in Spring Hill, Fortitude Valley, Queen Street, Toombul, UQ Lakes, Chancellors Place, Capalaba, and Loganholme bus stations.

Consultation with the department's Accessibility Reference Group, which includes representatives from government, industry, and disability advocacy groups has continued with four meetings held throughout 2019–20 in addition to out-of-session engagements on individual projects and other proposed initiatives.

Read more about disability access and mobility.

School Transport Assistance Scheme

The School Transport Assistance Scheme is one of the largest schemes funded by the state government which assists eligible students to travel to and from school on rail, bus, ferry, and tram services. For 2019–20, $176.3 million was paid to assist approximately 130,000 recipients.

The scheme can cover all or part of a student’s transport costs between home and school, with the focus being on assisting those students travelling to a school outside their local area, students living in extreme isolation, and for low income families.

The department works with about 502 delivery partners, providing over 1400 school routes using approximately 2000 buses.

Read more about the School Transport Assistance Scheme.

School transport operator payments

The department provided funding assistance to 502 private operators to deliver school transport services.

School services for South East Queensland are paid as part of integrated urban and school transport service contracts and reflected in the Passenger transport operator payments South East Queensland.

Total payment for the 2019–20 financial year to deliver school transport services in regional Queensland was $149.9 million (GST exclusive).

A full list of school transport operators in regional Queensland and payments is available on the Queensland Government Open Data Portal.

Concessional fares for disadvantaged community members

The department continued to provide concessional fares on rail, ferry, bus, and light rail services to ensure mobility and access across Queensland for those in the community who are disadvantaged.

In 2019–20, $312.51 million was provided in concessions and assistance to pensioners and seniors, veterans, students, people with a disability and their carers, job seekers, and asylum seekers to make public transport more affordable. Assistance ranges from public transport concessions, ticketing products, and subsidised transport schemes.

Read more about concessional fares.

Read more about ticket options for people with a disability.