American Public Transportation Association

MTA Long Island Rail Road Employee Wins APTA 2012 Call Center Challenge

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced Gabrielle Rodriguez as the 2012 APTA Call Center Challenge winner. An employee of MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in Jamaica, N.Y., Rodriguez was crowned winner at the Feb. 28 competition, which was held at APTA's 2012 Marketing & Communications Workshop in Miami. This year's Call Center Challenge was the first time an employee from MTA Long Island Rail Road competed. Rodriguez joined LIRR in 2006 and has worked in customer service for over 15 years.

"Americans take more than 10 billion trips on public transportation each year and passengers depend on transit agency call center representatives to assist them professionally and efficiently," said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. "Gabrielle Rodriguez exemplified extraordinary skill in handing customer service inquires. Congratulations to her and MTA Long Island Rail Road."

The purpose of the annual Call Center Challenge is to spotlight the importance of customer service within public transportation call centers and to recognize those individuals who excel in providing top customer service. The competition was open to public transportation call center personnel in North America. Seven finalists competed in front of a live audience and were judged on their ability to resolve customer service scenarios.

"I was truly impressed by the communication talents displayed by other contestants who attended from across the country. I hope this can only lead to additional opportunities for the LIRR to showcase how we value our customers and strive for outstanding customer service each and every day," said Rodriguez.

"Gabrielle reflects the best tradition of customer service at the LIRR, so I am delighted but not surprised that she has won this prestigious national award," said LIRR President Helena E. Williams. "Every day, she helps foster an atmosphere of putting customers first at the LIRR's Travel Information Center and she is a key part of our team that is looking at how we can improve customer service even more at the LIRR."