How can text messages create better public transportation? Well, they can’t. Not on their own anyway. But if the text message campaign is a part of a larger project on delivering a high level of service and better travel experiences for the passengers it starts to make sense.
The project “Bus driver of the year” is part of the huge project “Bus drivers with character” which is initiated and executed by Stagis. The goal is to create pride, appreciation and job satisfaction among bus drivers in order to deliver world class service. The campaign and the text messages focus on “Good moments”, asking the passengers to write about their best moment from the bus. One of the text messages from yesterday reads something like this:
“6A. I was on my way home from school and got a new hair cut, but no one at school had noticed. And then when I was heading home the bus comes and I show my bus ticket. And the bus driver smiles and says, “Did you get your hair cut, it’s nice!” and I smile and say “yes!” and get on the bus. That was my best moment”
For the last three weeks signs and posters in the buses in Copenhagen and all over Zealand in Denmark have called passengers to send text messages with praise to their driver. During the first three years of the project it was focused on Greater Copenhagen. This spring the project has expanded to cover about a third of Denmark. A lot of passengers have taken the possibility to comment on their daily bus travel. Besides receiving praise this effort shows the drivers how important their attitude and behaviour is to the passengers’ experience of the ride. This really makes a difference to the drivers – to discover just how significant their daily work is.
Within the next few weeks 6 to 10 drivers will be nominated for the title as “Bus driver of the year”. The passengers will be asked to vote for their favourite candidate on the bus driver website buschauffor.dk and the winner will be celebrated at an event on September 2nd. We’ll keep you posted!