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.
This award is open to garages that operate buses on contract to London Bus Services Ltd. Performance and monitoring data will be used by TfL London Buses to compile a shortlist of garages reaching high levels of recorded performance, which includes:
- 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.
Winner, Gold Award
Brixton – Arriva London South
‘Team Brixton’ as Arriva London South describes the 400 staff at its Brixton garage, continually strives for excellence and has implemented further improvements over the past year. It ended last year without any staff lost mileage and has consistently topped the quarterly TfL Excess Waiting Time (the time passengers have to wait beyond what the timetable expects them to wait) table throughout the year. The garage has built on its mileage performance strategies to include enhanced root cause analysis to help prevent breakdowns and increase reliability. Staff engagement and morale has been strengthened with personal development initiatives for supervisors, and open forums and newsletters to keep everyone motivated towards targets. The garage has invested in new toilet and canteen facilities as well as engineering improvements including as new pits. The team also works with the local community in support of Lambeth Bus Day as well as hosting local school and Scout trips to the garage to promote bus travel across London. To reinforce high standards, the garage has implemented a hall of fame photoboard picturing managers congratulating and recognising staff achievement.
Excellent staff engagement and significant involvement in the local community were picked out by the judges. They also commented on how well Brixton garage had taken on new routes seamlessly and still managed to improve performance. Overall this garage impressed the judges above all others in London to become the Gold Winner.
Winner, Silver Award
Twickenham – Abellio London
Abbellio London’s Twickenham garage is consistently a top performer, which the company puts down to empowering its managers and supervisors to bring about change. This has brought a wealth of new initiatives and generated a lot of enthusiasm for its 400 staff to become ‘Team Twickenham’ – a garage where new employees actively seek to work. ‘Customer is King’ is Abellio’s mantra, which the Twickenham garage took further by running forums with groups of drivers, mixing drivers with complaints and those with commendations in each group. There was a noticeable improvement in customer service scores and Twickenham moved up the league tables. It’s also has the lowest collision rate in the company and a 100% MOT pass rate. The team spirit is overwhelming at the depot with numerous staff events and competitions making it a great place to work.
A systematic approach, good internal engagement and high staff moral were all noted by the judges in what seems to be a very happy garage.
Winner, Bronze Award
Barking – Stagecoach London
Stagecoach London’s Barking Garage has over 400 bus drivers and 20 engineers, but still manages to have a strong team atmosphere. Despite the loss of two routes this summer, along with many long service drivers, the remaining drivers proved their dedication and commitment to their customers by continuing to work as a team to continue to provide a good service. The depot has a mix of very new and long service drivers who are all keen to assist each other to answer questions and ensure anyone new to the garage feels confident and comfortable. Fruit is available at the counter where drivers sign on and dates and provided during Ramadan. Many schools and nurseries in the local area have visited the garage giving the opportunity for pupils to have a ride around the block to understand how to safely use the buses and a few lucky ones get to sit in the driver’s cab. However, the highlight is going through the bus wash while on the bus singing “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round”!
The judges were pleased to see that Barking had embraced Hello London, and had good staff engagement and motivation initiatives that were showing results in an improving operation.
Sutton – Go Ahead London
The London General Omnibus Company opened Sutton garage in January 1924, built at cost of ú30,000 with a capacity for 100 buses. Initially less than half of the garage was in use, but today the Go-Ahead London depot houses 103 buses, covering seven routes and with 330 employees enabling around 85,000 passengers journeys each day. Sutton has a great team of people with drive and passion to serve customers and achieve targets. It’s such a good place to work that staff tend to stay a long time. Eighty-seven members of staff have worked at Sutton for more than 15 years, 41 of them for more than 20 years and the longest serving member of staff has completed 43 years of service in the industry. As a driver put it: “Sutton has remained the feel good family garage, and staff are happy to go an extra mile. Once they start at Sutton they don’t want to leave.”
The high number of employees with long service and friendly atmosphere were noted favourably by the judges.
Willesden – Metroline Travel Limited
Metroline Travel’s Willesden garage hosts the world’s first zero emission, all electric double decker buses, currently running on Route 98. Appropriate for a garage that prides itself on being dynamic and forward thinking, the team were able to overcome logistical and technical challenges to successfully launch this service. The 390 staff at Willesden are committed to delivering the very best service to its passengers and work as an engaged, involved and motivated team. There a number of very active sports teams, including snooker, pool and football teams which regularly meet for garage matches, and garage outings to the seaside and shopping trips to France are also well supported and helps build team spirit. Staff at Willesden actively celebrate cultural activities and festivals from Ramadan to Pride making sure everyone is informed and able to support such events, often supported by arranging celebratory food. There are also twice yearly barbeques for all employees to get everyone together. The annual Garage Open Day is very popular with the local community and raises around ú2,500 each time for local charities.
Social activities and community involvement were picked out by the judges as being especially strong at Willesdon which has reflected in good performance figures.