Last week I signed a contract with the public transportation organization Movia who represents the public bus industry in Copenhagen and Sealand. In July, the Danish Transportation Agency decided to allocate a little less than 10 mio. Danish kroner (about 1.3 mio Euro) to giving the bus drivers a better image in the general public. The project covers training of the bus drivers, better internal communication in the industry and numerous activities and communication that will change the public perception of the bus drivers. Most of the activities will be happening over the next 15 months.
Bus drivers thrive after pilot project
During 2008 and 2009 Stagis developed the strategy as well as the project in details, gathered the parties involved and gave the project the it’s name and visual identity. From March to October 2009 we orchestrated the pilot project called ‘Chauffører med karaktér’ (Bus drivers with character), testing some of the ideas in order to prove the effects of the strategy. As you can imagine, the results were overwhelmingly positive. As mentioned in the casestudy on www.stagis.com and a May blog post, 90 percent of the bus drivers claimed to thrive at work in October of 2009. Six months earlier, only 68 percent agreed. Generally, the bus drivers know that people don’t have glorious thoughts about them. In the same survey, only 13 percent of the bus drivers thought that their job had a good image in the public. When the pilot project ended, that had increased to 24 percent. Partly due to the positive media appearances that we spun off. Partly because the passengers had sent hundreds of text messages with their stories about good experiences in the busses. The strategic goal behind that change is simple: If the bus drivers are happy about the work, they will treat their passengers better and hence the perception of the bus ride will change for the better.
So what’s next?
There are already several courses going on at ‘Movia Akademi’ this month and next week I’m meeting with a group of bus drivers who was attending the Academy last year. They created such a strong relationships with each other that they still want to meet and bond now, a year later. I’m really looking forward to seeing them again!
In a couple of weeks we will start to announce more about the specific plans and the ideas will start to materialize. For now, I’m really pleased that the ideas we developed will continue to live and that the bus drivers will continue to make positive changes. For themselves and for all of us in the back of the bus.
Check out four bus drivers ‘with character’ on the Danish website we created at the end of 2008 on buschauffor.dk. I love all of them but my favourite is Sezgin who was the youngest bus driver in Copenhagen at the time.