Metroline uses GreenRoad and Blink to empower driver safety
“We selected GreenRoad because it is so effective in reinforcing positive safe driving behaviours.” Glen Dring, Service Delivery & Telematics Manager
In 2015, Metroline, one of London’s largest bus companies with 4,100 drivers and 1,600 vehicles, started using GreenRoad in four depots to supplement another telematics system used elsewhere in the business. Five years later in 2020, Metroline selected GreenRoad for its entire fleet of buses in London.
“When GreenRoad is coupled with the broad communication capabilities of the Blink app, we have a powerful tool that promotes engagement and enhances the safety culture at Metroline.” Glen Dring, Service Delivery & Telematics Manager
“Where GreenRoad was installed, drivers could easily work out where their safe driving scores were coming from, so it felt very fair,” commented Glen Dring, Service Delivery and Telematics Manager. “The trade unions understood that the system actually empowered their drivers, and they were pleased by the ‘friendly competition’ around safety.”
The positive reception from Metroline’ frontline staff is evident in this feedback from one driver:
Deploying GreenRoad across the whole of Metroline proved to be more about employee relations than technical details. “GreenRoad was a far more comprehensive and advanced telematics system than any that we had used previously, so it was important to introduce it properly,” Glen explained. Metroline’s goal was to get extensive buy-in, not only from the drivers and operational managers, but importantly also from the unions and all other departments within the company. “With the help of GreenRoad’s experienced personnel, we formed and executed a strategy that accomplished this very well,” Glen commented.
Because of a wide range of opinions on telematics amongst the drivers, engaging them was a key priority for Metroline’s GreenRoad implementation team. “We formed a steering committee so that drivers, engineers and representatives from all departments could get involved in the decision making. We held training meetings, and ran a communications campaign that educated drivers on all aspects of the initiative,” Glen explained. Green safety scores were publicized on a leaderboard, with drivers closely monitoring where they stood in the rankings. “In addition, we use the safety scores as the basis for ‘friendly competition’ – with rewards as an extra incentive.”
As part of the roll out, Metroline engaged multiple departments to ensure that the launch was a success. “Normally, when we deploy systems, we train only the department who will be using them directly,” Glen explained. “But with GreenRoad, we tried a holistic approach, approaching all departments across the whole business. We showed them what GreenRoad can offer their department: not just safety, but also tracking – location history –idling hotspots – fuel consumption – safety hotspots. We challenged them, saying: ‘If you find new ways to utilise GreenRoad data, we will share your idea so everyone can benefit.’ Now, I walk into the control room, and the first thing I see is the GreenRoad screen, each for his or her own purposes.”
Integration with Blink, Metroline’s internal corporate communications platform, was also an essential priority for GreenRoad. “The integration of GreenRoad with Blink, our internal communication platform, makes it really easy to get good information to thousands of drivers quickly and efficiently, and fosters a sense of community,” Glen commented. Each driver’s GreenRoad Safety Score, Team Ranking, personalised safety tips and other information appear automatically on their Blink dashboard, alongside shift schedules, road closure updates and other information that Blink provides. Blink’s messaging and communications channels also make it easy for drivers to share their statistics, and discuss their scores with each other, and to get their questions answered. “This creates a wonderful community feeling that is focused on all the right values: safety, efficiency and customer service,” Glen added.
- Improvement in Safety Scores: In August, when Metroline had the new depots in ‘blind’ mode, the average safety score was around the 50-60 mark. Four months later, the whole company safety score was 19, a 65% improvement in safety events in a very short time.
- Reduction in insurance costs: This is one of the main goals that Metroline will be pursuing during the next year, with the aim of leveraging improved safety scores to secure reductions in our insurance premiums.
- Improved training: ‘GreenRoad Champions’ have been appointed in every depot who lead by example and who are available to answer questions. Using the GreenRoad scores and detailed safety event information, those who may need help can be easily identified, and their driving styles better understood. Little changes in driving habits can make a big difference to safety and fuel consumption. The Champions coach the drivers, the drivers’ awareness and skills improve, and Metroline’s operations improve.
Metroline and its drivers are positive about GreenRoad because the system works well for them. It is easy for the drivers to use, and it feels fair because they can understand it. Drivers are able to look at the data themselves, and see the areas where they can improve. Furthermore, they can go to their GreenRoad Champion and get relevant advice. Drivers can focus their energy on becoming safer, and this benefits everyone within the company and on the road.
Glen highlights the benefits of empowerment through GreenRoad, “It’s all about coaching and empowering the drivers. GreenRoad empowers our drivers, encouraging them to drive their best and channelling their competitive instincts into something that’s positive – for them, for the company, for everyone on the road.”
The GreenRoad Platform provides drivers with a simple metric for rating their skill: the GreenRoad Safety Score. Drivers use Safety Scores to track their own progress, and managers use them to pinpoint issues and fine-tune training. Fleets also use Safety Scores for ‘friendly competitions’ and award schemes. Calculation of Safety Scores is based on the number of risky events a driver has performed during the past 10 hours of driving. The lower the Safety Score, the better the driving.
For more information, see https://greenroad.com/solutions/safety-scores/