This is the award which benchmarks the performance of bus garages in London, and rewards the best with a cash prize to be used on facilities to benefit the team which delivers the best service on a day-to-day basis.
The 2014 Results
Gold Award Winner
Battersea, Abellio London & Surrey
Battersea is Abellio's largest garage, with over 500 staff, and its performance has rocketed in the last few months - from climbing TfL league tables to new recruits actively looking to join up. Managers and supervisors have been empowered to bring about change locally. A 'Welcome to Wow!' campaign to encourage drivers to say hello to passengers has also driven up the number of customer commendations dramatically and drivers receive rewards such as Hall of Fame photos and the Abellio Excellence Gold Tie for exceptional customer service. An impressive amount of work has gone into developing team spirit, from coffee mornings to celebrating big sporting events with live matches and Battersea is also proactive in its charity and community work, supporting local schools and elderly centre. All in all, the judges felt Battersea was delivering a first-rate performance against all criteria.
SIlver Award Winner
Romford, Stagecoach London
Stagecoach London's Romford garage of over 300 staff has a mature, stable and focused team of drivers and engineers who have embraced the challenge of adapting to new methods of assessment while maintaining traditional values to drive up standards. Developments such as Green Road to measure driver performance have improved customer service. Meanwhile, engineers have shown ownership, pride and teamwork by painting their workshop and have achieved 10% or more energy savings in the last two years. Community links are strong, with careful attention paid to being a good neighbour to local residents and recent involvement with a dementia alliance. The judges were impressed by the remarkably low staff turnover rate of 3.2% with average length of service being the highest at 15 years and fostering strong team bonds.
Hounslow Heath, London United Busways Ltd
London United prides its Hounslow Heath garage on strong team spirit, customer service and community presence, as well as an ability to deal quickly with any gaps in service. Garage bulletins and the in-house journal are used to promote performance improvements and high standards in customer service are encouraged through refresher seminars and discussion and follow-up with each driver on the results of mystery traveller surveys. For each customer commendation, the driver receives personally thanked by the manager and a letter of appreciation. The judges welcomed the team spirit that has been developed, with a 'one garage, one team' approach and a clear absence of a 'them and us' culture while active relationships with schools encourage children how to behave like model citizens on the bus.
Kings Cross, Metroline Travel Limited
Metroline operates three routes within central London from its Kings Cross garage of 180 staff and won 'Garage of the Year' at the company's service awards this year. Its new focus and culture of commitment to both staff and passengers has driven up performance, with a newsletter developed and plasma screen updated with relevant and localised content. Mystery Traveller reports are discussed with individual drivers and they are commended for all positive points raised. Many drivers now receive commendations for exceptional service every month and the judges were impressed that Kings Cross consistently receives an unblemished record for interaction and professionalism where drivers fully understand the need to be polite and professional at all times.
Potters Bar, Metroline Travel Limited
Metroline's Potters Bar garage of nearly 400 staff values its community ties, history, and record of long service. Positive growth and turnaround since 2010 are reflected through substantial investment in new buses, management development training and staff coaching with regular management 'one to one' sessions with feedback on key initiatives such as a 'Thank you driver' campaign aimed at improving awareness of vulnerable passengers. Team spirit has been fostered by monthly open forums, a garage newsletter, a driver bonus scheme, new driver rest areas and a refurbished, rebranded and re-launched canteen. The judges were impressed with steps to enhance community relations such as fund-raising garage open days for local charities, engagement with local youth groups and local disability groups.
Sutton, Go Ahead London
Go-Ahead London's Sutton garage prides its teamwork and positive work ethics as the main factors driving success. Customer service improvements have been achieved by talking with members of the local community and identifying areas for attention, while local forums have enabled drivers to recognise the specific needs of the disabled and elderly and others. Drivers consistently achieve high scores in TfL's driver assessment programme, with small rewards given for the highest marks. The garage also has well-supported Sports and Social Club and works closely with local schools and senior citizens. The judges were impressed that a Quality of Service Excess Waiting Time of nearly 15% better than the minimum standard required for routes operated had been achieved. [Image Awaited]
Who could be nominated?
This award was open to garages that operate buses on contract to London Bus Services Ltd. Performance and monitoring data was used by TfL London Buses to compile a shortlist of garages reaching high levels of recorded performance, which included:
- Driver Quality Monitoring data
- Wheelchair ramp operational audit data
- Customer Satisfaction Survey and Mystery Traveller Survey results
- Lost Mileage
- Quality of Service Indicators
- Engineering standards
- Levels of public comments.
Each short listed garage was then challenged to submit its own assessment of its achievements, emphasising its impact on passenger service, staff well-being and the communities served by reference to specified issues.