Driving a bus on a Saturday night in downtown Stavanger can be tough. It is not easy to combine excellent passenger service with a safe trip for everyone on board, and at the same time keep the time schedule. Bus drivers must, in many ways, be super communicators, while many of them have a non-Norwegian mother tongue. So – how to build confidence for stepping outside the comfortable driver's seat and engage with passengers to create a safe and good travelling experience – for all?
Kolumbus is the most innovative and awarded mobility provider in Norway. Their touch points range from buses to city bikes and rental cars. Kolumbus has also invited their subcontractors to cooperate extensively in training their bus drivers (employed by the subcontractors) working across contractual boundaries.
The service training has been conducted since 2018 and is getting more extensive. Bus drivers must refresh their licence every five years, and Canoe has supported Kolumbus and Connect Bus to fit the behavioural training into these YSK-courses.
In the spring and autumn 2023, Canoe is developing two new modules concerning potentially dangerous passenger situations on the bus and situations regarding cyclists in traffic. The training modules involve case simulation, using film and live acting in front of the bus drivers. The bus drivers are engaged in practical exercises where they can experience and test different ways of solving the situations using different behaviour and ways of communicating.
Course material from earlier courses has been developed by EGGS Design and the training is delivered in close cooperation with Kulturkompaniet.
The bus drivers are giving excellent feedback on the training program. The participatory nature of the courses creates engagement and builds culture internally amongst the bus drivers, and externally with the Kolumbus course facilitators. Early measurements of passenger satisfaction show that training and building a culture for good passenger experience positively impact the score. What more could we hope for?