New Horizons Award sponsored by Passenger Transport
Winner, Silver Award, Technology and innovation to make the bus best - Reading Buses
Reading Buses is making the bus the clear transport of choice through innovation and technological development. It recognises that customers have choices; be it travelling by car, taxi, bike or walking, or even not travelling at all and using online shopping. Through focussing on all the details, no matter how small, and investing in people and technology Reading Buses has bucked industry trends for patronage to become one of the few networks in growth with 12% more customers and 9% more revenue in the past year. Always at the forefront with it brightly coloured route-branded buses, the company has launched innovations such as social seating, books and umbrellas to borrow, and even Lego to play with. Reading Buses has operated gas powered buses since 2013, the same year it launched a smartcard scheme, followed mTicketing last year and becoming the first full network outside London to offer contactless payments this year. Customer satisfaction scores are in the top three nationally. Reading Buses is keeping its services at the forefront of urban mobility and breaking new ground to deliver benefits for the whole bus industry.
The judges praised Reading Buses for its holistic approach, bringing the benefits of many available technologies to all areas of its service.
Top National Bus Driver: the Chris Moyes Memorial Award
Winner, Gold Award, Maks Pruszewicz - Reading Buses
Maks Pruszewicz has a strong history of driving and customer roles and combining these in bus driving he's found a job and a company that he loves. This shines through every day in his work, helping him to become the Reading Buses 'Driver of the Year' as well as taking the coveted 'Star of the Year' accolade. With numerous customer compliments for being friendly and smiley, he's gained particular praise for helping a lady in labour, assisting wheelchair users, waiting for someone on crutches and even for respecting a funeral cortege. Regardless of the situation, Maks is super enthusiastic and smilingà always! He's got the perfect ingredients for a brilliant bus driver: excellent mystery traveller reports, zero accidents in three years, zero sickness in five years and a huge pile of customer compliments.
The judges noted that Maks seems to have all the requirements for a gold winning bus driver. He's well liked by customers and his work colleagues, has received lots of commendations from passengers and has achieved a 100% score in Reading Buses own mystery traveller programme. What more is there to say?
Top Shire Operator sponsored by Ticketer
Winner, Bronze Award - Oxford Bus Company
Having been part of Oxfordshire for over 135 years, Oxford Bus Company continues to grow and adapt to its market, whilst maintaining a strong connection to the local community it serves. In what has been a year of substantial upheaval in the city centre due to the redevelopment of its largest shopping centre, the company has continued to invest in its fleet, technology and colleagues, putting into practice its positive outlook for the future. There has been a ú6.5m investment in 30 new Streetdeck double deckers with next-stop audio visual systems and a further ú1.1m in replacing all ticket machines to state-of-the-art units with contactless payment, barcode scanning and other customer and driver conveniences. The company has also spent ú1m a brand-new city centre travel shop and customer lounge.
The judges were pleased to note the investment in new vehicles with audio visual next stop announcement and that the company continues to deliver a good service. They also noted that the Managing Director is on the Local Enterprise Partnership, something that more bus operators should aspire to.
Young Manager of the Year sponsored by The Chartered Institute of Logisitics & Transport
Winner, Gold Award, Dan Bassett - Reading Buses
Dan Bassett is responsible for the management of Reading Buses' day-to-day operations at depot level. This involves overseeing 448 drivers across the Reading and Newbury depots, 15 control room and supervisory staff, a resources supervisor, a new revenue supervisor, two Assistant Operations Managers and an Operations Manager. Dan is the key ingredient to making operations run smoothly. He motivates and leads his teams to ensure services are delivered in the best and most efficient way possible. Most importantly he's delivered tangible results making Reading Buses' services better for customers and employees. Last year, reliability and punctuality improved, a whole network in Newbury was mobilised within just five weeks and there are 17% fewer accidents per 100,000 miles. Dan has achieved all of this, plus a promotion to Head of Operations, at the 29. That's testament to his hard work and commitment to Reading Buses and in making changes to the business to make sure he's getting the best out of all his employees, with a focus on the end-customer.
The judges said that Dan impressed them as a well rounded manager with a big emphasis on the importance of people in the organisation - staff and customers. His focus in his current role on reliability and punctuality is bringing benefits to Reading Buses' passengers. A strong candidate and worthy Gold Winner.