GreenRoad helped Coach USA’s ShortLine Bus reduce accidents by 35%.
We tell our drivers, ‘I’m giving you a life-saving tool – a tool that can literally save your life and the lives of the people on your bus one day.
Newel Scoon, General Manager & VP
Though safety has always been a top priority for ShortLine Bus, Coach USA’s operator in New York/Connecticut/New Jersey, in 2015 it become its #1 focus. That was the year that ShortLine’s parent company, Coach USA, set tough new incident reduction goals: goals that ShortLine found hard to achieve.
“At first, despite our best efforts, we struggled to make a dent in our accident rate,” explained Newel Scoon, ShortLine’s General Manager and VP.
“There were plenty of ‘good reasons’: high employee turnover, older drivers set in their ways, challenging routes, etc. But we believed strongly in the potential of our drivers to improve their behavior, given the right training and incentives. That’s why we deployed the GreenRoad platform, and the results have exceeded our most optimistic projections.”
As the first step of its Safety Initiative, ShortLine’s management used the GreenRoad Driver Behavior platform to gather detailed information about each driver’s driving style and habits.
GreenRoad enabled us to take a deep-dive into each driver’s performance, seeing clear patterns that we hadn’t recognized before. One driver tended to speed and then brake harshly at the last moment, especially at the end of the day. Another tended to change lanes too aggressively during rush hour. Once we had this clear understanding of each driver’s root issues, it was a straightforward process for us to create a personalized training program for each driver. Then we moved into mitigation mode.
ShortLine’s driver modification program relied on GreenRoad data and applications to help managers communicate with, coach and incentivize their drivers.
First, to raise awareness of existing habits, ShortLine’s managers met with each driver to present the GreenRoad analysis of their personal driving style. “With the facts laid out so clearly, we began to see drivers overcome their resistance and open up to changing their ways. No one likes being told that they are poor drivers. But when we said, ‘We’re giving you a life-saving tool – a tool that can literally save your life and the lives of the people on your bus one day…’ – they saw the truth in that. They began to buy in to the process, and then it became much easier to discuss strategies for improvement. Change came quickly after that.”
Mr. Scoon continued, “GreenRoad’s self-coaching system – the LED-light feedback displayed for the driver on the dashboard – is a powerful motivator. Everyone wants to drive ‘in the green,’ and no one wants a poor Risk Score. Our drivers take pride when their scores improve, and continuously compare themselves with their colleagues. Within just weeks of deploying GreenRoad’s self-coaching, we saw a huge difference, and it has become permanent over time.”
To help sustain the change, ShortLine “gamified” its Safety Initiative, establishing competitions with recognition and cash prizes given to drivers with the best and most-improved Risk Scores.
Mr. Scoon commented, “The results have been fantastic. Our accidents are down by 35% year-over-year, and we have been able to negotiate lower insurance rates. Our overall risk is down together with our operating costs: we have significantly reduced our fuel spend and outlays for replacement parts, including brakes, tires and more. Perhaps most important, our drivers are more focused than ever on safety and a smooth passenger experience, helping us protect our brand and reputation.”
ShortLine’s managers continue to use GreenRoad Risk Scores, alerts and management reports to keep a finger on the pulse of the depot’s safety status. “GreenRoad’s alerts and reports draw our attention to any drivers or routes that need particular support. This gives us a ‘heads up’ to employees that need extra coaching and incentives in time to stem a crisis.”
Mr. Scoon concluded, “There’s no question that GreenRoad has been a major
component of our safety success. There’s no ‘magic bullet’ for achieving results like these: it takes determination and focused effort, day after day. But without the GreenRoad Platform, it simply would not have been possible. GreenRoad tools empower our drivers to help themselves and our managers to provide the right kind of support.
“Looking to the future, we plan to continue expanding our use of GreenRoad’s advanced tools. We are particularly interested in GreenRoad’s Predictive Intelligence capabilities, which we see could help us take our vehicle maintenance and driver coaching efforts to the next level.”