Ridgewood NJ, NJ TRANSIT is delivering on its commitment to improving the customer experience across its rail, bus and light rail systems with the creation of the first Customer Advocate & Chief Customer Experience Officer in the agency’s 40-year history.
NJ TRANSIT has named transportation advocate and customer experience leader Stewart Mader to fill the role. The position is dedicated to monitoring and improving the customer experience statewide at every customer touchpoint.
“As NJ TRANSIT continues to rebuild itself as a world-class mass transit agency, restoring safety and reliability to the thousands of commuters who use its service daily, the voices of its riders must be heard,” said Governor Philip Murphy. “I applaud NJ TRANSIT’s leadership for prioritizing those voices, and putting customer service at the forefront of its operations by selecting Stewart Mader as the agency’s first Customer Advocate and Chief Customer Experience Officer, who will use his deep experience advocating for mass-transit in our region to monitor customer experience and feedback, and integrate the unique needs of commuters into the agency’s decision making process.”
“NJ TRANSIT is committed to providing our customers with excellent service,” Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “That starts with listening to our customers and giving them a voice. Creating a Customer Advocate and establishing a Rider Advisory Council will ensure our customers have a formalized way to be heard and for NJ TRANSIT to address their needs.”
“Stewart Mader’s advocacy for mass transit in our region, most recently as Chair of the PATH Riders Council for the last five years, will be an invaluable asset to making the tangible improvements our customers demand and deserve,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Kevin Corbett. “I look forward to tapping into Stewart’s wealth of experience and customer-focused perspective.”
Prior to joining NJ TRANSIT, Mader worked with Port Authority leadership to establish the PATH Riders Council advisory board. He also created the comprehensive New York & New Jersey Subway Map, and built Transit Standards, a collection of best practices to streamline customer experience. His writing on transit and transportation has appeared in the New York Daily News, Bergen Record, and Mobility Lab, a research center on transportation policy.
Working with customers and senior leaders of the Port Authority, Mader helped guide enhancements for PATH’s 80-million annual riders, including countdown clocks, the RidePATH app, and an updated service map that shows regional transit connections in all 350 PATH train cars. Mader also facilitated collaboration with the MTA to provide two-trip Metrocards for PATH riders to use on NYC Transit during PATH’s capital project service outages.
One of Mader’s first orders of business in his new role will be to create a similar advisory council made up of NJ TRANSIT customers throughout the state, representing all regions and modes of transportation. He’s planning for a launch of the new customer advisory board sometime in the fall.
Mader previously served as Global Head of Digital Strategy for Fitch Ratings, where he streamlined the customer experience throughout the firm’s credit rating and market intelligence businesses. He led CFA Institute’s digital customer experience and campaign for financial reform, building a social media presence named #1 in finance by Association Trends.
Earlier in his career, Stewart led instructional design at Brown University, Emerson College, Long Island University, and University of Hartford. He led a NASA Space Grant-funded project to produce digital learning tools, including two documentary films that have aired on PBS stations and are in active use in high school and college classrooms. He earned a B.S in Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude from University of Hartford, and an M.S. in Curriculum Development and Instructional Design from University at Albany.