All station staff employed by Transport for London will receive an iPad mini in early 2016. The tablets will run a number of bespoke applications to help staff provide an improved customer experience to the millions of passengers who used London public transport every day.
Apps created by TfL for the new iPads include Station Logbook, in which staff will return all activity at their station, and Ticketing Monitoring, an app for staff to report when ticket machines and gates need attention. There is also a Fault Reporting app, letting staff record faults such as damage to escalators, cracked roof tiles and other defects around the station.
TfL has opted to hook up every staff iPad to the Yammer messaging platform. Microsoft-owned Yammer is an enterprise messaging tool that lets employees from across one organisation keep in touch and have private or group conversations about work.
Currently in its fourth generation, the iPad mini has a 7.9in screen, runs iOS, and has a battery life of up to 10 hours, meaning it should last the length of an average TfL employee's daily shift. Chris Weaver, a duty manager from TfL, admitted that staff "haven't always been empowered to deliver" a world-class service, Metro reports.
Weaver added: "I understand the business and shackles that have perhaps held staff back in the past. This technology will free up their time and enable staff to perform at the level they're capable of."
The early indication, according to an online poll by Metro, is that TfL customers are happy for staff to be given the tablets, which cost between £319 and £579; 60% of respondents said they agreed with staff receiving the iPads.