Busways is a transport solution provider that partners with Government agencies to operate innovative, reliable and flexible public transport services to Australian communities. The company provides school, route and on demand bus services along with expertise in transport operations, scheduling, customer experience, asset management and marketing and communications. An Australian family-owned company, Busways has grown from humble beginnings in 1942, with one car servicing one suburb, to a major transportation service provider delivering over 26 million passenger journeys per year. A focus on customer experience, quality service and employee development, combined with an ongoing commitment to innovation, has been the driving force underpinning this remarkable journey.
Busways frontline team is not just the face of the transport network; they facilitate positive customer experiences. Yet these employees were entirely digitally disconnected without company email addresses or work-provided devices. Communications were primarily paper based or via noticeboards in depots.
In 2019, Busways’ committed to finding and leveraging a digital solution to engage and empower its most valuable resource: the diverse and mobile customer-facing workforce. It was the first company in Australia to adopt a little-known UK app called Blink – providing an easy, single-login gateway via an employee’s smart phones to systems, tools and conversations. The solution is a more dynamic approach to internal communications that drives positive change for the frontline drivers, cleaners, mechanics, and yard staff who make up 90% of Busways’ team. The solution was both mobile-first and intuitive and above all in the frontline worker context, provides genuine value to its users at their fingertips; this was crucial to ensure users would be willing to download a company app on their personal devices.
Leveraging this digital tool allows everyone at Busways to be an internal communicator – on their terms, in their time, and on their device. Frontline workers now feel part of something bigger than themselves, which has hugely improved the quality of their outputs. They have access to all the critical information, top-line management, third party systems, and internal processes they need, all from within one app on their devices. The tool has been invaluable during the COVID health pandemic.
Busways customised features to create a specific system tailored to a bus operator, thus overcoming long-standing barriers to employee engagement, and solving an industry-wide problem. The partnership between Busways and Blink also marked a ground-breaking moment in the Australian public transport industry as Busways was the first transport operator to take this unknown piece of international technology to a brand-new market. It was an innovative and highly complex project in uncharted territory, sealing Busway as pioneers in their approach and dedication to digitising frontline employee engagement.