Chris Moyes Memorial Award for Top National Bus Driver
sponsored by Traffilog
Stagecoach West Scotland
A man of many talents, Stephen has had a varied career from serving in the Armed Forces to pig farming in Northumberland. He joined Stagecoach in 2006 working on local services within Troon and Ayr before moving to working backshift on the X77 express service between Ayr and Glasgow via Prestwick Airport. Faced with many Polish customers unable to speak English and finding it difficult to ask for a bus ticket, Stephen proved his ability to go beyond the call of duty by teaching himself Polish by listening to self-help CDs on his commute to work. His customer service skills and determined self-improvement impressed the judges.
sponsored by Alexander Dennis
Transport for Edinburgh Official Ticket App, with m-ticketing
Lothian Buses has produced a feature-rich app which collects, simplifies and personalises key service information and enables mobile ticketing for its bus services. Updated to include tram services under the umbrella of Transport for Edinburgh, the TfE app provides real-time information, dynamic journey planning, next stop alerts and tap-to-speak assistive technology. The app was Scotland's first public transport m-ticketing platform and offers a comprehensive range of ticket types. The functionality of this app appealed to the judges who noted its success in a relatively short space of time - used by an average of around 10,000 users a day in just over six months.
Stagecoach's megabusGold.com service, launched in July 2013, uses bespoke vehicles with seats converting into lie-flat beds, to provide customers with a new travel option: luxury daytime coach travel and overnight sleepercoach services. Within four months of being introduced, services were operating at more than 80% capacity and following a customer feedback survey, 34% said they previously travelled by train and 24% by plane. The product has also received high profile media coverage. The judges were impressed with megabusGold as an interesting and logical development of the original megabus concept and recognised the level of innovation and investment.
Local Authority Bus Project of the Year
sponsored by The TAS Partnership
Gold Award Winner
Building on the success of Edinburgh's BusTracker real-time information system and responding to demand from passengers, SESTran has developed the technology to cover eight local authority areas across an area of three thousand square miles in South East Scotland, and feed direct into Traveline. The project delivers bus times, disruption and accessibility information as well as associated web, mobile and app services. Extremely impressed by the geographic coverage SESTran has achieved, the judges considered the scale of the initiative sets it apart and makes it a model of what can be delivered through constructive partnership, despite a current challenging financial environment.
Making Buses a Better Choice: the Peter Huntley Memorial Award
sponsored by Heathrow Airport
First Glasgow's simpliCITY Network
First Glasgow has developed a brand new network, simpliCITY, to transform Glasgow's services and attract more customers. Changes to make the network easier to understand were coupled with the company's biggest ever marketing campaign: corridor guides to over a million households, £3.8m in money-off vouchers, a TV campaign, and new customer newsletter, SHOUT! The judges were impressed with the extent of research and consultation undertaken and the scale of the project in terms of financial investment, service provision and performance, fares initiatives, and marketing and publicity. The company's positive response to customer feedback has achieved significant growth in passenger numbers of 4.2% and improved passenger satisfaction, with 91% scored overall.
Putting Passengers First
sponsored by Euro Bus Expo
Bronze Award Winner
Lothian Buses - Taking Customer Service to the next level
After carrying out a detailed review of its approach to customers, Lothian Buses' aim was to take the overall experience for them to a new level in preparation for initiatives such as its new information and ticketing app, and m-ticketing. The company integrated the teams covering its travel shops and customer service to create a seamless experience wherever customer interface occurred. The judges were impressed with how Lothian Buses enhanced its already impressive customer service ethos, even among those who are not directly customer-facing, noting its 96% customer satisfaction score in recent Passenger Focus surveys - the best in the UK.
Special Award 2014
First Games Transport and First Glasgow
Bus and Coach Transport for the 2014 Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games was the largest sporting occasion ever held in Scotland, featuring almost 5,000 athletes from 71 different nations and territories. Over 1.3 million spectators attended the competitions. The transport arrangements were an unqualified success and were a major contributor to the smooth running of the whole event. The years of planning and testing paid off and all involved - the athletes, wider games family and the general public - enjoyed quick and reliable bus services provided by a team of operators, drawn from the whole length and breadth of the British Isles, all managed by First Games Transport and First Glasgow. First Games Transport deployed some 580 buses and coaches for the period of the Games which between them made some 48,000 individual journeys over the 12 days. In addition, First Glasgow kept the city moving as well as providing spectator shuttle services to the 12 main venues around the city. The Management Committee made a Special Award for the delivery of Bus and Coach Transport for the 2014 Commonwealth Games jointly to First Games Transport and First Glasgow. At the same time, it offered congratulations to the other operators who contributed to the success including Stagecoach, Translink, National Express, Go North East and Reading Buses.
The Award for Marketing Initiative of the Year
sponsored by Passenger Transport
Bronze Award Winner
Nightbus Home safe. Midnight to 4.30am
Lothian Buses launched a fully revised NightBus service under a new brand identity in July 2013, after listening to customer and driver feedback. A broad multi-channel campaign was rolled out over six months with promotional activity increased over Christmas to capitalise on Edinburgh City Centre's busiest period of late night travel. The result is a 48% increase in Nightbus passenger numbers and an established brand reflecting safe and reliable night-time transport. From initial market research to clever and intensive marketing of the revamped product - not least countering the perception of anti-social behaviour associated with late-night travel - the judges felt this was a textbook model of how to re-launch a network of bespoke services.
Top Independent Operator
sponsored by Scania
Originally and primarily a coach company that has expanded its bus operation considerably in recent years, the family-owned Prentice Coaches operates in East Lothian. Offering high quality operation, an innovative approach to tendered services and Prentice is eager to try new commercial service initiatives and prides itself on making a profit in each year it has traded since 1991. The judges were particularly impressed by the company's customer service ethos, its use of social media and its app, marketed as 'App-Prentice'. The app allows interaction via smartphones and tablets with Prentice's real time information system which the judges noted is provided without cost to the local councils, unusual for a small independent company.
Top National Bus Depot
sponsored by Personal Group
First Scotland East
Balfron Depot is located in the heart of rural Stirlingshire. Services provided by its 30 plus employees allow customers in isolated villages to access local shopping, education and leisure facilities as well as commuter links to the major employment centres of Stirling and Glasgow with a fleet of over 20 buses. High operational standards and an understanding of customers' needs are central to the depot's efforts and lost mileage - a key focus given the dispersed nature of the customer base - has been 0.8 for the past two years. The judges felt the number of staff and its largely rural catchment gave Balfron a distinctive feel and they were impressed by the depot's team spirit and links with the local community.