European Bus Operators' Forum - James Freeman

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  • 1. Transforming Reading BusesAttitudes, Approach &TechnologyTuesday 18th June 2013
  • 2. James FreemanChief Executive Officer
  • 3. Overview – What am I talking about?• Who we are…• Customers at the Centre of all we do• Culture Change• Technology – improving the customertravel experience• Key learning points• The future
  • 4. Who am I?• Bus Conductor – 1974:then NBC SeniorManagement Trainee• Over 35 years’ experience of runningbuses• People’s Provincial Buses Co-ownership• Stagecoach• Since 2007 CEO of Reading Buses
  • 5. Introducing Reading• 135 buses• 420 staff• £27m annual turnover• Profitable• c20m passenger journeys/year• 2012 Shire Operator of the Yearwinner
  • 6. More about Reading…• Local bus network almost 100%commercial,• Passenger growth – about 6% average!• Contracts for Vodafone and south Readingbusiness parks• The GreenBus
  • 7. • Simpleroutepattern
  • 8. • Vivid route branding
  • 9. • Big investment in buses – hybrids, gas• Flat fares and simple period tickets• High levels of utilisation: busy buses!• Main Operator in Reading• Highly-motivated and willing staff!
  • 10. Customers• at the centre of all we do…• It’s a different mind-set• Customers as people: our neighboursfriends, kids mums and dads• Personalising what we do• Making them feel like winners!
  • 11. Changing the culture• Started in 2008• Formation of Reading Buses Academy• Policy on recruitment• People who like people!• Need to enjoy our work, to have fun!• Having passion for getting it right…
  • 12. The driver experience• Matters most of all• Only a few seconds to make arelationship• Power of smiling• Working with people with disabilities• Power to “own” the job• Pride
  • 13. Power of Communication• Inside & Out• Reading Buses Bulletin every week• Flash Boards• Driver Performance Managers• We see each other regularly
  • 14. Ticketing - we wanted:• New system• Complete replacement!• Smartcards• Online top-ups• Reliable• Driver-friendly• Customer friendly• ITSO compliant
  • 15. Ticketer• October 2010 first trial – 6 buses• January 2011 – first whole route Jetblack1• March 2011 – whole company• Smartcards the worst problem• Just a few days we’d forgotten the horrorsof Wayfarer!
  • 16. Ticketer benefits• Web-based system• Gave us control of tickets and products…• New flexibility• On-line top ups• Printer, card reader and console all separate• Messages on tickets• Customisable• routes, ticket types, fares, logos, drivers
  • 17. Features of our service• RTPI and plenty of priority…• AVL used to manage system• On-bus announcements• Destination repeaters• Interaction with the railway – PlusBusand departures…
  • 18. Separate printer, card reader and console
  • 19. Ticketer = The whole package
  • 20. Products• simplyReading range of7, 30 & 90 day tickets• £1 To Town – 100% passenger increase!• Group Travel £8 + £5 at week-ends• £2.20 returns• In the dog house… Ruff deal for dogs -Doggy Day Rover!
  • 21. In the dog house!• A ruff deal for dogs• Expensive!• £1 per trip• Flat fare systemtoo restrictive• New system allowed a…
  • 22. Buy your dog a…• Doggy Day Rover = more customers
  • 23. The human example!• Expensive in particular situations e.g.short hop• Flat fare system too restrictive• New system allowed tailored andresponsive products• £1 to town introduced• Result = Increased £££ and customers
  • 24. • Under 19s travel at child rates• No ID, no questions• Introduced August 2012• £1.30 Single• £2.20 Day• £10 Week• Already 250,000 journeys a year more
  • 25. Learning Points• No tickets for concessionary passholders• Need to speed up ticket issue anduploading of value• Cab layouts difficult to adapt• On-line is the future!
  • 26. Conclusion• We need all the revenue we can get –with Ticketer revenue was up (by upto 4%) on implementation• Ticketer works well and delights• On-line topping up is sensational• Wave & Pay is our next ambition
  • 27. Thank you!