Reading Buses Chief Executive Officer Robert Williams has said the company has to ‘work harder and harder’ to attract the next group of people away from their cars.
“But with that challenge comes opportunity,” said Robert who is marking his first year at the helm of a company he says is known for being an ‘industry star.’
Writing in the company’s latest staff newsletter, he says: “All our departments pull together as a family to provide a great service and between us we chase down every last detail to go that extra mile.
“Spotting the details is one challenge – tackling them is another. If we get it right this attracts that extra small percentage of people to our services that help justify the next improvement.
“We have to work harder and harder to attract the next group of people away from their cars, but this needs to be our primary goal.”
He said the first year in a new job was about listening and learning, and whilst there had been plenty of challenges, there was a huge amount to be positive about 12 months on.
“Most of the bus industry is struggling with falling passenger numbers linked to weak High Streets and increased home working, and political pressure to add costly regulation.
“We are of course not immune to any of this in Reading, but we do have some protection from both from our position in the Thames Valley and the pending introduction of Crossrail.
“We have bucked the national trends by growing passenger numbers thanks to the effort everybody puts in each day to provide a great service, and our ongoing political support through regular constructive dialogue.”
Robert points to some key challenges which include issues around journey times at certain times of day as well as congestion and roadworks. Something that the company continues to lobby all local authorities about.
What’s next for Reading Buses? He adds: “Reading Buses is known for being an industry star with a lot of added extras, but that is underpinned by getting all of the fundamentals right.
“For me, year two is about delivering genuine improvements in what we do. There are a lot of positive projects lined up and the potential to do even more with everybody’s input and support.
“I love being at the heart of Reading and the Reading Buses team.”