Top National Bus Depot, sponsored by Personal Group
Metrobus registered a commercial network in Crawley in 2001 when the existing operator declared that its current operations in the town were unviable. The last twelve years have seen unprecedented growth in the operation, including the introduction of the highly-praised and award-winning ‘Fastway’ service, and the number of passengers. The depot now operates services throughout West Sussex, Surrey and Kent, with an enviable reputation for quality, investment and customer service, the latter evidenced by its strong commitment to social media. The judges noted the high levels of reliability, punctuality and other key performance indicators.
Top Shire Operator, sponsored by Ticketer
With a reputation for taking over and making a success of failing bus networks, Metrobus has seen unprecedented growth on its services throughout West Sussex, Surrey and Kent over the last twelve years. It is the operator of the highly-acclaimed ‘Fastway’ service and an industry pioneer in the use of social media. The judges were again impressed with how dedication and an eye to detail, coupled with understanding passengers’ needs and communicating with them successfully, has brought passenger growth and financial success to the company in areas that are not traditionally good bus territory.
Top Independent Operator, sponsored by Scania
Compass Travel is a growing independent company operating services in East and West Sussex, Surrey, and Brighton and Hove. The company has a strong customer focus ethos, endeavouring to ‘go the extra mile’ to ensure high standards of service provision. Despite the difficult economic climate, Compass has continued to invest heavily in both its workforce and vehicles. The judges noted that, where possible, drivers and vehicles were allocated to specific routes, encouraging staff to develop good, professional relationships with their customers, and also that the company positively encouraged feedback by making it as easy as possible.
The Bus and the Community Award
Brighton & Hove – Police Liaison Officer Initiative
Brighton & Hove Buses has a well-known commitment to passenger service, the company firmly believing that it has responsibility for passenger safety and safety satisfaction levels. With Sussex Police, it has developed an employer-supported policing scheme which not only serves its customers across the region but also provides a direct link between the two organisations to deal with incidents. A Special Constable, the particular bus driver is employed and paid by the company but works for Sussex Police. Since it started in 2008, this liaison has helped bring a major reduction in theft from buses, criminal damage and assault.
TfL Award for London Bus Garage of the Year
Orpington garage is the largest in London equating to 2.79% of the London network. The garage runs 28 routes amounting to just over 9 million miles per year operated in a mix of inner and outer London boroughs. They take pride in ensuring their bus fleet remains highly presentable and invest heavily in maintaining this. At Orpington the priority is to operate a full service on all routes despite any issues that may arise. The targets the garage sets itself are in excess of TfL's standards and are regularly exceeded despite problems faced with traffic, roadworks and adverse weather etc.
The Controllers have a blog system to keep all the team involved and informed of the latest developments; they have been issued with iPads to maintain control of our services and to report issues encountered operationally.To help ensure performance remains high, in addition to the Operations Control staff the garage have introduced Route Champions on each rota for Drivers, both experienced and new, to have a point of contact if they need guidance and support. This also helps transmit the garage vision of continually improving our operations in a supportive environment.
The company sees job progression as vital in sustaining performance levels and promoting team spirit, this is carried right the way through from Driver, Route Champion to Operations Controllers and Management. For example, all of the current managers have been promoted from within the driver/supervisor ranks.
Luke Rees-Pulley Charitable Trust Award for Top London Bus Driver
John Anderson (Quality Line, Epsom)
John has been nominated for exceptional service over such a long period that he has become a friend of regular passengers, many of whom are elderly, and his interaction with them is like old friends getting together each day.
The perfect bus driver in so many ways, John has chosen to operate on one route in a relatively rural part of London and has established a customer rapport that is second to none, creating the '404 Club'. On a relatively short route the operation could become repetitive after 11 years but John enjoys his job and passengers enjoy the excellent communication and service reliability that John and his colleagues provide on what is effectively a 'community bus'.