Bus and the Community Award
Big Bus Day - East Yorkshire Motor Services
Conceived as a one off event to celebrate the 80th anniversay of East Yorkshire Motor Services in 2006, the Big Bus Day regularly attracts over 7,000 people and now has a mission to make buses and bus travel a part of the community in a fun and engaging way. Held in partnership with Hull Musuems, the Big Bus Day features vintage and modern buses to look around, bus-related games, the EYMS Brass Band, sales of bus memorabilia, and other bus-themd fun including the bus driver hazard perception tests. Most popular are the free open top bus rides around Hull City Centre. The event is free to enter, and many activities are free, meaning families on low incomes can attend without worrying about costs. Voluntary donations are collected, raising ú15,000 for the NSPCC last year. People who attend Big Bus Day get to see a bus operator as part of the community, rather than a faceless corporate entity. They see 'behind the scenes' displays, chat to our friendly drivers, compare old and new buses, and, overall, create a good relationship with EYMS, and positive feelings towards bus travel.
The judges thought this to be an excellent way to engage a large section of the community with the bus industry who might not otherwise do so. EYMS has done a very good job of sustaining the event and the judges thought that engaging young people, the bus users of the future, to be a good strategy.
Skegness Seasiders Team - Stagecoach East Midlands
The Seasiders are six individual liveried open top buses presented as named characters with classic seaside themes, which provide accessible transport between the top tourist destinations of Skegness and Ingoldmells. Staff at Skegness wanted to embrace the popularity of The Seasiders and use this to raise money for charitable causes to improve the quality of life for local people, especially those finding themselves in difficult circumstances. Thousands of pounds has been raised by Stagecoach Skegness staff, which has been donated to children's charities and towards maintaining vital community services such as the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Raising the profile of the Stagecoach business in Skegness has encouraged bus patronage and investment in public transport, and stimulated future new infrastructure development with the support of local businesses.
What impressed the judges with this entry is that the activity was initiated, and is undertaken by, the staff at the Skegness depot, making it truly a part of the local community is serves.
Local Authority Bus Project of the Year sponsored by The TAS Partnership
Winner, Silver Award
Elland Road Park and Ride - West Yorkshire Combined Authority and partners
The 800 space Elland Road Park and Ride opened in 2013 as a partnership scheme between the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Council, with First West Yorkshire as the partner operator. The ú2.8m project set out to offer fast, reliable, comfortable and frequent access for commuters and visitors to Leeds City Centre. It has demonstrated very strong passenger growth contributing to modal shift with over 500 cars are parked at the site and over 1,000 single passenger journeys made every weekday. Over 60% of people using the service are regular commuters and work is underway on extending the car park and plans are well advanced for a second site in the south east of Leeds.
The judges were pleased to note that the park and ride site had been created in partnership between the local authority, transport authority and a bus operator and has encouraged modal shift. The scheme is clearly very successful as it is being extended and a second site planned.
Making Buses a Better Choice: the Peter Huntley Memorial Award
Sponsored by Heathrow Airport
Winner, Gold Award
Cityzap - Transdev Blazefield
Cityzap is an innovative concept in intercity bus travel by developing an 'intelligent' non-stop interurban bus service between Leeds and York. Drivers use Garmin sat-nav equipment (branded as Zap-Nav!), programmed to avoid low bridges and routes unsuitable for large vehicles, to choose the fastest route based on the current traffic conditions. They also underwent enhanced customer service training, empowering them to not only choose the route, but upgrade customers to weekly tickets and promote other bus offers as well as give a refund if a passenger is unhappy. Branded high specification vehicles with leather seats, USB power points and free wifi are used on the service which has exceeded its passenger forecast targets and achieved passenger satisfaction scores of 5/5.
The judges considered this to be a truly innovative scheme, not only exploiting technology in a way not used before on buses, but also in handing over the power to select the route to the driver. Good marketing and relationship building has produced excellent ridership from what are all new customers. A very worthy Gold Winner.
The Award for Marketing Initiative of the Year sponsored by Passenger Transport
Winner, Gold Award
Busboost - South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
Busboost is a transport initiative for South Yorkshire businesses and organisations that encourages commuters who normally travel by car, to switch to public transport for part, or all, of their journey. In the latest round of the scheme, almost 4,000 daily commuters were provided with a 28 day smartcard, enabling free use of local bus, tram and train services during the travel trial period. Seventy-seven percent of participant said they would continue to use public transport for all or part of their daily commute and would recommend public transport to other people. The initiative was developed and delivered by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and partners as part of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme using funding provided by the Department for Transport.
The judges were very impressed with the outcomes of this well thought out scheme: 83% felt less stressed than driving, 60% saw an improvement in their journey time and 77% will continue to use public transport and would recommend it to others. Six months later 43% were still using public transport instead of their car on a daily basis, showing a substantial and sustained modal shift and making Busboost a Gold Winner.
#harveyBus - 410/411 X-Factor initiative - Arriva Yorkshire
The #HarveyBus is the centrepiece of the Castleford network relaunch with idea of creating a centrepiece for the relaunch, and it seems to have won the hearts and minds of local residents, passengers and the press. The marketing initiative celebrated the first direct bus route into Leeds from the Chequerfield estate in West Yorkshire. The campaign worked closely with De Lacy Primary School in Chequerfield estate, where the majority of parents are bus users. The children at the school created their own designs for a bus exterior on the improved 410/411 service. The winning design was chosen by judges and a public vote, and was reproduced on a bus used on the route. The #HarveyBus has become a part of the community and runs past the school everyday. As the X-factor tour was coming to Leeds the week the service launched, Arriva Yorkshire took the opportunity to use this as the backbone behind the marketing.
The judges liked the way that this initiative capitalised on a moment in time to come up with an imaginative marketing hook.
The Award for Sustained Marketing Excellence sponsored by Exterion Media
The 36 - Riding Redefined - Transdev Blazefield
Billed as using the finest buses in the country, Transdev Blazefield's service 36 links Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds using a high specification fleet featuring free wifi, USB power points, a Library 36 community book exchange, quilted leather seats with airline-style tables, a lounge area with desks, two plus one seating upstairs and a spectacular glazed roof. The next stop announcements feature BBC Look North's Harry Gration, a "beloved Yorkshireman" using an informal style to proclaim "get off here for a cup of tea at Betty's Tearoom" rather than issue staid, robotic information. The 36 is a pioneer in the sustained marketing of buses and has never rested on its laurels, challenging people's perceptions of public transport. In June the 36 became one of the first bus services outside London to use contactless payments.
Whilst applauding the extremely high standards set by the 36, the judges would like to see how well the most recent revamp detailed in the entry has been received and how passenger numbers and revenues have been affected.
Top National Bus Driver: the Chris Moyes Memorial Award
Winner, Bronze Award
Karen Wilson - Arriva Yorkshire
Based at Arriva Yorkshire's Castleford Depot, driver Karen Wilson has received numerous commendations from customers and colleagues. Her driving and customer service skills have been recognised recently by the company, appointing her as a mentor for new drivers. She helps with route learning and ensures all new drivers are fully aware of all aspects of customer care, safety and customer's expectations. Karen has great empathy and is brilliant at dealing with difficult situations. She goes out of her way to build relationships with her customers, and takes their feedback about route and timetable improvements on board. "Karen he has a heart warming personality and is a credit to the organisation," enthuses her employer.
A customer service champion, the judges noted Karen's commitment to providing a good service to her passengers. She is also willing to help colleagues and has shown passion for the bus industry.
Bryan Liddle - Transdev Blazefield
Brian Liddle started driving for Transdev Blazefield in 1989 and customer commendations started coming into the Keighley depot soon after and have continued to flow since then. He is always cheerful, helpful, knowledgeable and consistently offers customers a smooth and safe experience. Every passenger is given a cheery 'hello' as they board, and he understands the importance of providing the complete package of excellent customer service alongside a safe and reliable ride. He treats every customer as an individual and truly cares about every minute they spend on his bus. "I wish I could have another 200 Brians," says his employer.
The judges noted Brian's long service record of incident-free driving and excellent customer service record with a string of customer commendations.