I saw a report on my local news station that San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is in trouble. They may raise the already high prices. Over the past few years, Bart has been getting over-crowded and dirty. There are times where I don’t even get to sit during my commute both ways. I pay full price, yet I’m uncomfortable. One can spend 1-2 hours a day on Bart. I view my time as valuable. I want to either relax or work. I could probabaly bust out a blog post M-F if I could sit down both ways.
So what can Bart do to raise prices yet keep customers happy? Find out what your customers do using your product and make it better for them. It’s a simple idea. People who ride Bart do the following:
- Read books or newspapers
- Work on laptops
- Watch movies or listen to music on their portable device
- Some even sneak a bite to eat or drink
Everyone who gets on Bart pays the same amount if your either standing, sitting in a dirty seat, leaned on by some smelly guy, or sleeping comfortably. Unfair for those inconvenienced. Bart should take a bite out of web services. Provide a basic service for a base price and charge more for a premium service. Airlines do this, why can’t BART? What would these premium services?
- A guaranteed seat – This is a given. Guarantee seats and people will pay extra without any issues.
- Individual seats that lean back so that one can sleep – People are tired. Think of an airline 1st class seat in BART. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ
- WiFi – BART has already toyed with it but they should do it on a bigger scale. The price I’ve seen were $10 a day. Too expensive.
- Outlets for laptops and other electronics
- Small screens for FREE or paid TV shows and movies – Strike a deal with Netflix where users can watch their library on the train or new users can rent ala carte
- Touch-screen computers that come out of the seats
- Free newspapers
- An electronic library
Would all these premium services be worth a few extra dollars? I think so. If BART is going to go all the way down to San Jose, they have to be more work friendly.