Alongside other key workers helping in the fight against Coronavirus, Reading Buses has today praised its team of drivers for being ‘heroes’.
The recognition comes with the news that their overall customer satisfaction remains high at 92% in the latest Transport Focus Bus Passenger Survey results released today. Although experiencing a small 2% drop in satisfaction from 94% last year, Reading Buses customers recognised that this was largely due to road works and congestion which affected journey times and punctuality during the survey period.
Reassuring customers during these unprecedented times, Reading Buses has seen improvements in cleanliness inside the bus, personal safety, greeting and welcome from drivers and safety of driving.
The annual survey asks bus customers for opinions on their journeys and the latest was the eighth in which Reading Buses has taken part. A total of 858 customers were surveyed and their responses indicated improvements in most of the driver scores, particularly greeting and welcome.
Said Reading Buses Chief Executive Officer Robert Williams: “With the Prime Minister’s declaration of a national emergency earlier this week we are firmly part of the effort to fight Coronavirus.
“Our drivers really matter. They are providing the essential service to get critical workers to hospitals and care homes and for customers to get to the shops for basic necessities.“Where customers do need to travel at the moment, they can be sure of a smile and a hello to brighten up their day in these unprecedented times.
“Given the current Coronavirus crisis, these Transport Focus Bus Passenger Survey results are amazing news to give us hope that we are continuing to deliver a great service to our customers in difficult circumstances for everyone.
“The results of the survey show that customers really appreciate all our efforts and really do love our drivers. Our buses are cleaner inside, people feel safer on our buses and they are happy with our drivers – all a great reassurance given the current situation.”
He added: “I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all our employees. Over the past two weeks, as the situation has quickly escalated, they have truly worked as a team to help keep us moving.
“The hard work and commitment of Team Reading Buses is greatly appreciated. One thing is certain: we must keep ourselves safe too. We are doing everything we can to protect our drivers and customers during this unparalleled situation.”
The Transport Focus survey score for Reading Buses driver greeting/welcome increased by 3% to 85% which placed the company ninth in England against the 31 unitary authorities to which they were compared. In addition, a 1% increase in satisfaction with interior cleanliness and condition, moving to 84% from 83%. A 5% increase in satisfaction with personal security, moving from 84% to 89% making Reading Buses 6th out of the unitary authorities they were measured against.
Safety of driving showed increased satisfaction from 90% to 93% which has taken Reading buses into the top nine bus companies in unitary authority areas for driving style.