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Greater Lansing Events for a Safe and Happy Halloween

Friday, October 23, 2020

Categories: Blog

​​A man dressed as superman stands next to a woman dressed as a bunny in front of a CATA bus

It's the season of spooks, spirits and lots of candy. Whether you're looking for something sweet, a chance to compete or another special way to enjoy the Halloween holiday, this list is for you.

1. Safely trick-or-treat in your own neighborhood.

After a bit of a scare, trick-or-treating is officially a go in Lansing and East Lansing! Here are a few tips on how to keep yourself and your kids safe and healthy.

2. Make like Lightning McQueen, and drive through trick-or-treating.

The Lansing Parks and Recreation Department is holding a drive-thru trick-or-treat event on Halloween from 1-3 p.m. at Frances Park. Enjoy all the thrills of trick-or-treating with over 40 local vendors, all from the safety of your own car! Blue Cross Blue Shield will also be on site providing free flu shots. For more information, click here

3. Ghosts, ghouls and souls will be at the polls.Little boy in a T-Rex Costume on a CATA bus

Enjoy your favorite activities while also exercising your right to vote! The Lansing City Clerk’s office is hosting a Halloween drive-thru trick-or-treat event complete with music, prizes, onsite voter registration and ballot drop off. You won’t want to miss this awesome event! Click here for details.

2. Cheer the Spartans to victory against the Wolverines.

Whether you’ll be in a costume this Halloween or in your jersey cheering on the Spartans, Ellison Brewery and Spirits is the perfect Halloween spot for the whole family. Their family-friendly Halloween party will include a costume contest, live music and prizes. Learn more here

3. You have the right to remain trunk-or-treating.

Is it possible to have too much candy? We don’t think so! The Lansing Police Department’s Community Service Unit is hosting a drive-thru trunk-or-treat event on Halloween. Say hi to McGruff the Crime Dog while you're there! Click here to learn more. 

4. Suit up for a spooktacular photo.

Looking for a way to get in the Halloween spirit from home? Check out East Lansing’s inaugural Great Pumpkin Photo Contest! Submit a photo in costume by November 1 for a chance to win amazing prizes. Click here for contest rules and information.

5. Enjoy Halloween specials at your favorite local haunts.

Many places around Lansing will be treating you to specilty drinks and snacks that are sure to spook even the bravest of foodies. Test your sleuthing skills at a Socially Distanced Murder Mystery at The Bistro in Williamston, carve your imagination with Midtown Brewing's pumpkin carving nights, or delight your pallate with apple streudel bites and a sweet potato harvest bowl from Hopcat

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Behind the Curtain of Customer Experience

Friday, October 2, 2020

Categories: Blog, Employees

You may know our customer experience representatives –⁠ or CRXs, for short –⁠ as voices on the phone or faces in the information booth at CATA facilities.

At a glance, these employees sell passes, administer fare tokens and provide rider information. But their role goes far beyond what meets the eye.

CXR Nick Zickefoose cites around a dozen online programs he has to use quickly and efficiently to give customers the best information.

“I do feel like a lot of the people in the City of Lansing tend to view us as a very reliable source of information, not just for CATA,” Zickefoose said. “Oftentimes we’ll end up answering questions just about the city in general, for people that have just moved here.”

The customer experience department receives hundreds of phone calls a day. Sometimes these come from parents asking for information for their students. Other times, calls come from those looking for a ride to a nearby homeless shelter for their next meal. The team knows many of these customers by name, and remains when to lend a helping hand or listening ear.

“Just being able to help somebody is one of my most enjoyable parts about this job,” said Schuyler Brown, another member of the CXR team.

Customer Experience Representative Schuyler Brown poses in front of the CATA Transportation Center

Zickefoose recounts the times he’s stayed on the phone with new riders until they reach their nearest bus stop and feel comfortable. He’s also provided words of encouragement to customers going through tough times.

 “There are a lot of moments where there’s a deeper interaction with our customers and the people who live in Lansing,” Zickefoose said.

Customer Experience Supervisor Sam Soliz notes there are many unpredictable factors in public transportation –⁠ weather, traffic, red lights, accidents, medical emergencies and detours to name a few.

“If our department can use our tools and our empathy to eliminate any or all of that stress, we’ve made the customers day just a little bit better,” Soliz said. “That’s what it’s all about –⁠ removing just one pain point from their day in the hopes of making it better.”

Thank you to this team for making days at CATA better for our employees, riders and the public. The community is incredibly fortunate to have such empathetic, resourceful and talented representatives getting people where they need to go.

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Leading with Love

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Categories: Blog, Employees

CATA Customer Experience Manager.

That may be Margaret Stephen’s job title, but others call her the heart of the customer experience department.

“Her understanding, her love … she goes beyond what a supervisor is supposed to even care about,” said Schuyler Brown, a member of the customer experience team. “In any situation where we need her, she’s right there. She’s got our backs.”

Margaret describes herself as one of those people who really loves her job. That love shines through to her team, other CATA employees and the public as she works hard to keep the CATA Transportation Center running smoothly.

Customer Experience Manager Margaret Stephens stands in front of the CATA Transportation Center

“I couldn’t have asked for a better boss for my first job out of college,” said Nick Zickefoose, another customer service representative. “Margaret is so attentive. She’s on the ball. She’s so friendly. She knows everything that we need to know about customer service, and she’s so enthusiastic about it.”

But according to Zickefoose, his boss doesn't just focus on doing her job well. She also empowers others to improve.

"She works so hard to make sure that everyone in our department is happy, healthy, doing our best, and also improving,” Zickefoose said. “She has a very vested interest in making sure that as individuals and as professionals, we’re becoming better people. And I appreciate it beyond anything else.”

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