I’ve been thinking about the rail dispute / strikes scheduled for next week across the UK. Here are a few of my thoughts.
We need to take a holistic approach that looks at both staff concerns and how to improve service. At the moment, our rail service is a mess. Customers pay too much for a poor service. The whole rail network needs to be nationalised and we need to accept that subsidising it is necessary to help address climate change.
There needs to be massive investment and change. This needs to include faster and more comfortable trains, more driverless trains and in short, a complete rethink in how to provide improved customer experience taking full advantage of the technology available in the 21st century. Currently we are still making do with a service that was designed using 20th century technology and thinking. Rail staff would need to be part of this redesign process. Front line workers especially have understanding and expertise that could be applied to improve the service. Ultimately, I am saying that staff should not be paid more for proving the current poor service, instead they should be paid more for being part of a radically improved service.
To get there I suggest that we need to apply design thinking, service design, human centred design, user research and systems thinking. I see these as different parts of what is needed to improve service. My thinking is informed by a transport design project I’m working on at the moment. I outline more about how to address such complex problems in this blog post https://lnkd.in/eRBKCsXX