Setting the scene

Keolis is a multinational transportation company that operates public transport systems. Keolis partnered with Mustard in 2016/2017 as it was preparing its bid for the Manchester Metrolink franchise.

The context

This research was designed to provide Keolis with improved local knowledge and a more in-depth understanding of users’ and non-users’ experiences and perceptions of the Manchester Metrolink service. The ultimate aim was to help Keolis demonstrate its local knowledge and develop ideas for improvement, formed by ‘thinking like a customer’, for Keolis to deliver a truly differentiated and informed bid proposal.

What we did

We used a phased and mixed method approach to elicit views. Firstly, four focus groups (targeting different age ranges – and users and non-users of the tram network), Secondly, 6 x in-depth interviews with disabled users to understand how people with mobility issues perceive the current service. Thirdly ,a large quantitative survey conducted face-to-face at various locations across the network, to gather feedback “in situ” (reaching almost 400 users and non-users in total). Fourthly, and throughout the study, we undertook social media monitoring to review typical positive and negative comments made about the Metrolink service experience.


The results

The research identified ten distinct key areas for improvement. The findings of the research were subsequently used to enable Keolis to deliver a customer focused and truly differentiated bid proposal. Keolis were ultimately awarded the contract to run the network.

The response