This year’s Album Conference, hosted by Nottingham City Transport in the UK earlier in the month had some fascinating speakers and really was the place to be for passenger transport industry knowledge, with the best technology the bus industry has to offer all in one place!
The show kicked off on a lovely sunny day, with lots of interesting stuff on display and plenty of delegates asking a myriad of questions.
The first speaker was Sir Brian Souter of Stagecoach and the bus industry’s answer to Billy Connolly! Speaking with real passion about customer service and how important it is to answer the phone – just pick it up, it is a potential customer! He also reminded us of the importance of ‘customers’ – not mere passengers and stressed the significance of how you interact with them as well as the need to embrace the internet and social networking etc in order to keep the future in excellent shape for an adapting bus industry.
The next speaker was Yvonne Fovargue MP, talking about the need to invest for the long term.
There were also some great examples in the car park of the very latest smart buses with wifi and real-time information.
On day two, the first speaker of the day was Adrian de Courcey and we were sure to tweet some pearls live from the event. De Courcey discussed ‘telematics’ and how, when managed well, it can make the difference in today’s competitive environment.
At GreenRoad, we see ‘telematics’ as part of a bigger more rounded driver performance solution encompassing real-time feedback and change management techniques. De Courcey covered how such solutions allow for positive control of insurance costs, but that the benefits go way beyond cost and include punctuality, carbon footprint improvements, happy customers and higher service quality. He also acknowledged the importance of driver buy-in in obtaining the best results.
One audience member even reported that their GreenRoad Fleet Elite drivers are recognized throughout the business.
Next we heard from Norman Baker MP – Minister for Transport, who expressed a desire to combine rail and bus travel with fully integrated ticketing and including smaller operators and demonstrated continued support from the government to bus operators.
David Astill of NCT then discussed a variety of advancements around the importance of real-time information at bus stops – that they now include an open information field and live departure information is carried through to the website and phone app. Late buses are even sending signals to the traffic control room in order to turn the traffic lights green!
Anthony Carver-Smith reiterated the importance of jumping on the social media bandwagon and covered how NCT are making it a success with an astounding 44,000 followers and yes, NCT tweeted our comments live from the conference!
All in all a very informative couple of days. If for any reason you were unable to drop by GreenRoad stand on the day to discuss how our solution could help significantly improve your fleet operations, click to contact us and arrange a free demo.