Friday, October 31, 2014

MANGO... more rewarding the more you use it

We’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to understand how most people use MANGO and what we can do to make MANGO more rewarding. Independent research and talking to you – our customers – has helped us plan what we do next. It’s clear that we need to focus the rewards on people who use MANGO the most.

So, here's what we're going to do from Sunday 2 November...

caps frozen – with £5 MANGOmoney back on week caps!

AFTER 9am DAY CAPS

In spite of recent price increases to zigzag, we are not changing the ‘after 9am’ day cap of… 
  • £5 adult MANGO
  • £2.50 micro MANGO for under 16's
with new lower caps for 16-19 MANGO and student MANGO
  • £4.50 16-19 MANGO
  • £4.50 student MANGO
WEEK CAPS

The week cap will also stay frozen, but with £5 MANGOmoney back (credit back to your account) when you hit £30 and even lower caps for micro, 16-19 and student MANGO users.
  • £30 adult MANGO - with £5 MANGOmoney back
  • £15 micro MANGO - with £2.50 MANGOmoney back
  • £25 16-19 MANGO - with £4.50 MANGOmoney back
  • £25 student MANGO - with £4.50 MANGOmoney back
28 DAY CAPS

The 28 day cap will also stay at £95, with new discounts for 16-19 and student MANGO holders too.
  • £95 adult MANGO
  • £47.50 micro MANGO
  • £75 16-19 MANGO
  • £75 student MANGO
Note that the after 9am rule only applies on day caps - travel before 9am will be included on your week or 28 day caps


MANGOmoney back

When you hit the week cap, we’ll give you credit back to you card. You’ll get an email prompt to release the credit to your MANGO. Make sure you take us up on it - look out for your email and check that all your details are registered in your MANGO account.

changes to discounts on individual journeys

We’re keen to reward people the more they use their MANGO, which is why we’ve made the day, week and 28 day caps great value.

The discount on individual trips will change as follows:
  • on adult MANGO and micro MANGO, single trips will be discounted by at least 15% or better (no longer 25% off)
  • on student MANGO and 16-19 MANGO, single trips will be discounted by at least 25% or better (no longer 35% off)

pick the best price, pick MANGO

Despite these changes, the key message remains… by picking MANGO, you’re getting the best deal – whether you travel lots or just now and again.

For more info see trentbarton.co.uk/mango

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Superheroes of trentbarton land

Our drivers are the backbone of our business. On the front line and meeting our customers minute-by-minute, day-by-day, they are the face of our company and do many, many really good things as they go about their work.

We thought we'd celebrate all this really good stuff with our customers earlier this year. Just after our really good service awards, we launched a Superheroes of trentbarton land campaign with leaflets on all buses and a nifty little area of our website explaining just some of the really good things our people do - showcasing a number of different drivers going the extra mile, all in the name of giving exceptional service or showing amazing care towards our customers.

Well, we've now gone a step further and launched our Superheroes of trentbarton land bus!


The bus out on its first day. Thanks to Matt Burley for sending us the photo!

The bus features our very own John, Allan, Kel, Elaine, Ashley and Barney flying around on the unique livery.










If you'd like to read more behind these really good people and why they feature - check out our Superheroes of trentbarton land web area at www.trentbarton.co.uk/superheroes

Saturday, July 19, 2014

rainbow reloaded

Over 20 years ago, Trent Buses (as we were then) introduced the 'rainbow' concept. This was the brand we gave for an added value of customer service to what had become an outdated bus product, based after a year or so of talking to customers to really appreciate what they wanted from a bus company.

Friendly drivers, fixed on that route; clean buses inside and out; a timetable that we stick to and a clear understanding of what the route does were the key things that stood out in the surveys. No real surprises, but at that time, it was truly groundbreaking that a bus company would listen and then follow up and do things that their customers wanted. But now, it's just how we operate. Every year, we do over 15 research projects a year to keep us in tune with our business needs. It's second nature to us.

Anyway, back to 'rainbow'. The concept of this level of added value has now been rolled out to every part of trentbarton. But it was the critical element that helped us stand out and prove to our customers that we mean business.

Therefore, we felt it important that it should live on. And where better than on rainbow one, one of our busiest routes, right through the heart of trentbarton land  and currently seeing a £2 million investment in brand new buses.


One of the new rainbow one buses awaits service at our Langley Mill depot

As we always like to do, we're moving the game on - again. Double glazing and comfortable seats with leather headrests are a standard feature - but we're proud to bring the first ever buses with USB power sockets to be introduced locally, along with free 4G enabled fast wifi and next stop visual & audio displays - including a guest appearance from Peter Dickson, the voice behind the X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, who is helping us launch the new buses at Nottingham Castle. The buses really are amongst the most highly specified vehicles around - all built right here in the UK up the road in Yorkshire. 


Our smart new interior

So, we've got a bit to celebrate - and we'd love for you to join us.

rainbow reward

On Saturday 19 July, our competition winners Mandie and Daniel Mullins from Eastwood become some of the first people to ever drive one of our new buses with their own driving experience. 15 year old bus-mad Daniel gets the bus named after him too.

rainbow roadwalk

Then on Sunday, our team and some of our customers, led by Mr MANGO and our bosses Jeff and Alex, complete an 8 mile walk of the rainbow one route from Nottingham to Eastwood to help raise money for our Charity of the Year, Help for Heroes. We'd welcome donations here.

rainbow roadshow

And then during the week, you can come and preview the new buses in Kimberley on Wednesday 23rd, Ripley on Thursday 24th, Alfreton on Friday 25th as well as on Heanor Market Place on Saturday 26th.

rainbow relaunch

On Saturday 26th July, it all begins again - as the old rainbow 1 buses are replaced one by one during the day with the smart new buses. 

And then starts a new perspective to our 'rainbow' story. 

We hope you enjoy using the new buses. 


The buses being prepared for the entry into service

Read more at www.trentbarton.co.uk/rainbowreloaded and join the rainbow roadwalk fundraising at www.justgiving.com/rainbowroadwalk

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Helping our Heroes

Hopefully, many of you will have already heard about the work we've been doing with our Charity of the Year 2014 - the widely respected Help For Heroes.

We've enjoyed many productive relationships with local charities over the years, not least with the deserving and hard-working folks at the Lewis Mighty Fund and Rainbows Hospice. And that's not to mention over £95,000 raised for the Royal Derby Breast Cancer Screening Unit at Royal Derby Hospital thanks to the wonderful work of Heather Ward who runs our Namesake charity - allowing people to name our buses in return for a donation to this worthy cause.

This year, however, our staff voted for a national cause close to many of our hearts. Indeed, quite a few of our staff are former servicemen and women themselves, or have family members currently serving. Our local Help For Heroes contact - a wonderful lady named Paula Allen - has gone out of her way to work with us. Along with her colleagues - often Hero Bear shaped! - she has attended many of our events to help raise money, as well as getting stuck in and getting involved. We all had a great day raising £1,350 at our recent BIG BUS & TRAIN BASH (see our YouTube video here or our picture gallery here). 


Our MD Jeff along with Paula (centre) with our teams at the BIG BUS & TRAIN BASH

There's been lots of other fundraising too, and our directors Jeff and Alex are also visiting their base at Catterick later in the year to see the work that goes on in this important Recovery Centre at Phoenix House.


£100 was raised for Help For Heroes at our really good service awards. Our Finance Director Graham hands over the money to Paula, flanked by Paul Ross and Paula's colleague Frances

However, it's sometimes not about the money - it's just doing what you can do to help. That's why we've offered completely free travel to servicemen and women every weekend for the summer - including on Armed Forces Day on Saturday 28 June. It's our way of giving back and encouraging our hard-working armed forces to have a day out on us - hopefully significantly cheaper than what would ordinarily be the case.

Alex Hornby, our Marketing and Communications Director, told us more...

“We're only too aware of the risks service personnel face when on active duty overseas, but they also do a sterling job – day in, day out – to keep our country safe. 

"By offering them free travel at weekends and on bank holidays, we hope they can make the most of the time they have with family and friends. At the same time we want to show our gratitude for all their hard work. It's the least we can do and fits in so well with the fundraising work we are doing with our friends at Help For Heroes”


Our H1 driver Ashley Kelly launches the free travel offer

The offer runs from the start of June until the end of September, and all members of the army, navy and air force have to do to enjoy free travel is show their forces ID when boarding a trentbarton bus on Saturdays and Sundays. 

And what fundraising are we going to get up next? We've got something really exciting planned as rainbow one and rapid one get 'reloaded' - keep watching at www.trentbarton.co.uk and at trentbarton live on Facebook and Twitter for more news! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

really good people at our really good service awards

We've just celebrated the best of the best at our really good service awards. This night of stars - where we reward and celebrate the excellent work of our teams - is now in its 12th year, and one of the most important dates in our annual calendar.

It's when we bring together our top performing people and their guests at a top trentbarton land venue (this year at I-PRO Stadium, or Pride Park in old money) for an evening of fun, appreciation and more!

Always hosted by a name from the world of showbiz, we always do our best to make it as glitzy and glamourous as an awards night as you'd expect to see on television. Our teams deserve that - and, by all accounts, from the feedback we've had, it was a great evening and one of the best nights we've had.




One of those reasons was our TV celebrity compere in Paul Ross. He was a revelation in the role, perhaps not a surprise given his pedigree hosting regularly on live TV. Whilst not as famous as his younger sibling Jonathan, Paul showed our teams and our company maximum respect with his enthusiasm, interest, friendliness and humour. Jumping on and off the stage to congratulate our winners, entertaining us with his wit and improvisational comedy, and just hanging around to have a chat and his photo taken with our guests, Paul was brilliant and made the night that much more special. 




He was ably assisted by an old friend of the company - BBC Derby's Andy Potter - who had superb rapport with Paul and the audience, keeping the night on track as our host. Our singing bus driver and X-Factor star James MacDonald brought the evening to a close - which was a nice touch and brought it all home, serving as a reminder of the depth of talent amongst our teams. All guests were treated to a lovely three course dinner and a casino kept everyone entertained during the intervals.




Anyway, after all that hype, we better tell you about the main reason we were all there - to announce our winners... 

Apprentice of the Year: Scott Hutchinson




Scott (in blue) receives his prize from (L-R) Richard of our award sponsor PSV Glass, 
our MD Jeff and Paul Ross

Our first award of the night - now in its 4th year - recognises the hard work and dedication by trentbarton’s young engineering trainees.

It not only celebrates their academic achievements at college but also their practical performance at the depot and their attitude towards their work. 

Shortlisted were Harry Burns, Sam Cooper and Scott Hutchinson.

Customers Choice Award: Andy Salmon, the mickleover

Our business is built upon the notion that if we look after our customers, they’ll look after our business and therefore the security and livelihoods of our teams. This award was in their hands – with voting forms issued on buses for customers to complete and send to us in the months leading up to the really good service awards. We asked them to nominate their favourite driver and we received thousands of nominations showing just how popular our people really are.

The judges narrowed the nominations down to three finalists in Allan Gilmour, Andy Salmon and Ashley Kelly.
Our winner Andy is a popular member of the Derby driving team and is a regular on the mickleover which runs between Derby, the Royal Derby Hospital and Mickleover. His customers describe him as always being cheerful and polite, knowing many by name, with a friendly word for many.
Colleagues Choice Award: Andy Haymes, the sixes



Andy won the most nominations from his colleagues, and was recognised for his commitment to the team he works with and for being a supportive and positive member of the depot. This was open to any member of the trentbarton team in any department.
The shortlisted finalists were Andy Haymes, Bob Mellors and Darren Thorpe.
Andy was both the second Andy to win and the second winner from our depot in Derby. His colleagues say he is a total professional. Despite going through a bit of a difficult time personally, he remains keen to help out and good fun to be around. And as driver of the sixes nightbus at weekends from Derby to Belper, he has excellent rapport with his customers in sometimes challenging situations – but always manages to rise above it all and has a smile for everyone. His customers often write in to say they miss him when he takes a night off! You can read more about Andy here.

Brand of the Year: skylink Nottingham



One of the most competitive awards of the night was the hotly contested Brand of The Year Award.

Each of our four depots could submit two entries of the best performing brands – based on year on year trends, financial performance, customer satisfaction, presentation and driver performance, which were whittled down to three shortlisted finalists on the night.

There was really tough competition this year. Firstly, my15 has gone from strength to strength since its relaunch a few years ago; skylink Nottingham is one of newest brands, running 24/7 and forging an important link between Nottingham, Long Eaton and the Airport; whilst the threes is one of our biggest services in terms of the number of buses and drivers, is our current brand of the year, and continues to impress.

Despite a nervous start in a deeply competitive environment and a challenging first year, skylink Nottingham has since blossomed into one of our best performing products, with record tales of customer growth – almost doubling its customer base within a year.

It exceeded all of its targets in 2013 and, so impressive was this take of growth, it was bolstered further with a frequency increase at the beginning of 2014.

A demanding route – running 24/7 in amongst tram construction works and heavy traffic congestion – skylink Nottingham has overcome all the obstacles to impress and over-deliver time and time again.

The judges gave a special mention to all the team who have helped establish this remarkable product, which never stops - running round the clock, day and night!
Hero of the Year: Kel Pizzuti, calverton connection


This was one of the most celebrated awards of the evening, where we recognise acts of our team going above and beyond the call of duty. Such stories are no less than acts of selflessness, compassion and heroism – hence the award name.
Kel took the prize for his excellent service in ensuring a lone female reached her parents' home safely one night. This young customer approached Kel in his indigo bus in Derby after dark without any money, needing to get back to the Long Eaton area. She explained she would run into a big problem in Long Eaton because she couldn’t afford a taxi from the stop to her home or contact her parents. Kel did no more than let her ride for free, arrange for a taxi to meet the bus at Long Eaton, waited for the taxi to arrive (after seeking agreement from his customers) and paid for her taxi fare as well.

Whilst Kel scooped the prize, our judges had a tough time picking apart from all of the very worthy finalists here.

There was the tale of Dyanne Bull, who was finishing her shift on red arrow in Derby and had a customer on board who mistakenly thought that the coach would continue to Chesterfield. Dyanne realised that the last departure to Chesterfield has already left and went the extra mile, and more - quite literally - by taking the customer home in her own car.

Then, there was Dave ‘Barney’ Askew, who found a wallet on his red arrow coach, and feeling that the customer would be anxious without it, took it upon himself to drive round to the person’s house himself to drop it off on his way home after his shift.

George Wood was driving a two to Ilkeston when a customer boarded  his bus and paid with a £20 note. After accepting the note without hesitation, part of her change – a £10 note – blew under the bus. The young lady was really upset so George simply gave her a replacement £10 and told her not to worry! The grateful customer said that she wouldn’t have expected that from any other bus company.

And, last but not least, Elaine Allitt who showed complete braveness in a situation whereby a group of youths were threatening a lone youngster on board her bus one Friday evening. Upon hearing that they planned to assault him after arrival in Nottingham, Elaine told the lone youth to stay on the bus and phoned his father to pick him up – keeping him safe and out from danger.

Our teams never cease to amaze us – and these were just our finalists. Really inspiring stuff from our winner and runners-up here.

Driver of the Year: John Shaw, i4 & route 18



Finally, we arrived at our biggest award of the night – our Driver of the Year award, which attracts a prize of £1000, an extra days holiday for the rest of their career with us, and the Driver of the Year 2014 trophy.

Each of the Driver of the Month winners from the past year qualified…
  • January’s winner Eric Leverton. Now retired after 47 years of service, Eric was  a regular on the 27 in Ilkeston
  • Moving on to February, we have Jean Cheetham on black cat
  • Richard Finn of the villager picked up the prize in March
  • Then in April, John Shaw of i4 and route 18
  • Abdul Jabar was our winner in May – representing indigo
  • And in June, Don Parker of Hucknall's connect picked up the prize
  • Moving on to July, Clive Potts of red arrow  was our winner
  • Dan Judson won is August, who used to drive on radcliffe line – he sadly couldn’t join us since relocating to Gibraltar
  • Representing one of our newest brands – zoom – Ray Limbert was September’s top performer
  • And in October, Jayne Phillips of H1 was driver of the month
  • Michael Rogan also represented zoom and won in November
  • And, Ashley Kelly of H1 was our driver of the month for December




First announced was our highly commended winner, Abdul Jabar, who is a favourite amongst the many customers on indigo. Our mystery customer judging team said that he presents himself immaculately and attention to detail clearly epitomises his approach to his job. Not only was his personal appearance spot on, but he took great care to ensure that his bus was fully ready for the road in every detail. He was exceptionally polite and courteous with all customers, and his eye contact with both boarding and alighting customers was particularly noteworthy and engaging.  


Moving on to our runner-up, Jayne Phillips just missed out on the big prize by the narrowest of margins. In the opinion of the judges, Jayne's warm, welcoming personality always makes for an uplifting start to our customers journey with us. She enjoys great rapport with her many regular customers but is equally courteous with unfamiliar users. Her appearance and driving standard are excellent and she clearly takes great pride in her work. Jayne provided a very strong challenge to the winner.




And finally, John Shaw was announced as Driver of the Year to his complete surprise! With top scores in his most recent audits – including two top scores in 2013, the mystery customer judges could find little fault in the final round of audits, with John enabling a thoroughly enjoyable journey in every respect. Even when he was observed to have to combat heavy traffic on a wet Friday afternoon, John drove faultlessly but purposefully in an attempt to catch up time. However customer service was not compromised in any way. Like we continue to find with John, he always seems spontaneously pleased to see all his customers – with each welcomed with an individual greeting appropriate to whether he knows them or not, and then warmly thanked on alighting – and is continually noted to go above and beyond the call of duty by providing information and guidance to customers in a helpful and friendly way. John provides an exemplary drive in every respect, and his skill and passion for the job shines through. 

Since winning, John has been interviewed by the Nottingham Post here and praised in the editorial on Tuesday 20 May by editor Mike Sassi – who called him an inspiration.

You can here more from our winners, our management team and our host Paul Ross on our trentbarton play YouTube channel here – or check out a full album of images from the evening on our Facebook page here.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

There's more to MANGO

If you travel by trentbarton bus then you’ll probably have heard of MANGO – whether you’ve seen the posters, spotted people beeping their cards on and off the bus or even met Mr MANGO himself. Maybe you’re already a MANGO card user and enjoy the savings, convenience and brilliant MANGO moments benefits to having that juicy little card in your wallet?


Mr MANGO knows the really good way to get about

MANGO gets even smarter

Whether you’re already MANGO mad, or you’re yet to cross over to the orange and green side, you might not know that MANGO is now even smarter. There’s no trying to work out the best fare option with MANGO, as this clever little card does it for you. It will automatically cap your travel costs at £5 per day (after 9am), so that you’ll never pay more than with a zigzag – and to save you even more lovely dosh 

MANGO now also caps your travel costs at £30 per week and £95 per 28 days. This makes MANGO  the perfect commuter or college-goer companion!




MANGO by Tram

Tram travellers rejoice – you can now use MANGO too! Whether you need to mix and match your modes of transport, or the tram is more convenient for you, MANGO will save you money, hassle and time. You will soon be able to buy and top-up at tram stop ticket machines, for extra no-fuss factor, and can buy and top-up your MANGO card now from the NET travel centre in King Street in Nottingham, just up the road from the Market Square.



Auto-MANGO

Ok, so we all know that MANGO is a super convenient way to pay on the bus, as you just touch on and off, no cash, no queue, no problem! However, having to top up your MANGO card regularly can become a bit of a chore. That's why we're preparing the ground to soon launch Auto Top-Up, which means that you can set your MANGO to top itself up once the balance reaches a certain amount. No more forgetting to top-up, no more dead MANGO cards and no more last minute top ups on a Sunday night!



More MANGO moments

Always bringing you the very best deals, discounts and benefits on food, drink, shopping and entertainment across trentbarton land, MANGO moments save MANGO card holders even more money!  At trentbarton we’re constantly adding to the list of brilliant MANGO moments benefits, to treat our cardholders to even more! Check out the full list of offers at www.trentbarton.co.uk/mango/moments - bookmark this page as we're adding more all of the time!

While MANGO is now even smarter, it was already a pretty smart little card to have in your purse or wallet. As well as the all new MANGO features and benefits, using a MANGO card to pay for your trentbarton land travel will continue to be:

Cheaper

Saving trentbarton customers at least 25% off single cash fares. More if they hold an micro MANGO (for under 16s), a 16-19 MANGO or a student MANGO.

Easier

Once you’ve got your MANGO card from www.trentbarton.co.uk/mango or a trentbarton shop (you’ll find these at the Victoria, Broadmarsh and Derby bus stations, and at Sutton Lammas Road and Langley Mill Station Road), you simply top up, then forget about needing cash for your fares. With a MANGO card in your pocket, you can get anywhere in trentbarton land, with a simple bleep.

Quicker

With MANGO there’s no paying the driver and waiting for tickets and change. Just touch your card on and off for a quicker way to board that speeds up trentbarton journey times and helps to keep our buses running to time.


All of the reasons above are why we love MANGO, and if you’ve not yet converted to the card, what are you waiting for? It’s the quick, easy and now even smarter way to save money on your trentbarton travel - simply set up your super smart MANGO, and just go!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Catch the Bus Week

Next week, from 28 April to 4 May, is national Catch the Bus Week, and we’re hoping that more people will catch on to the benefits of using our really good buses. This week-long celebration of all things bus has the aim of raising awareness of the environmental benefits of taking the bus instead of driving, and we can’t think of a better reason to get out and about meeting the lovely people of trentbarton land (that’s you!).


Mr MANGO's £500 workplace invasion

Whether you’re already a bus user, or you need some persuading, there’ll be plenty going on to get you thinking about, talking about and, hopefully, getting out and about on, our buses. Mr MANGO will be raiding some trentbarton land work places to give away £500 worth of FREE £5 MANGO cards to encourage commuters to ditch the traffic jams and travel in the bus lane instead. 



Victoria Centre fun & freebies

We’ll also be teaming up with our friends at Nottingham City Council, The Big Wheel and NCT at an event in the Victoria Centre on Sunday 27 April, where you can find out more about all the positives to bus travel, as well as catching the debut of the delightful Mrs MANGO (that's right!) and a stash of freebies, fun and competitions again - as well as free craft activities for the kids!





Catch the Bus Selfie

If we do persuade you to give the bus a go during Catch the Bus Week, or you’re a regular bus user and want to encourage others to get on board, why not take a selfie on the bus and post to our Twitter account (@trentbartonlive) with the hashtag #ctbw. Pouts and funny faces at the ready! There'll be a £20 MANGO up for grabs for the best one!



But, seriously...

Today, buses transport more people and commuters in Britain than all other forms of public transport combined. And, as well as being better for the environment (cars produce a massive 60% of domestic transport CO2 emissions!), catching the bus can also be better for your budget.  Forget expensive city centre parking and going round and round in circles trying to find a space - look instead at our great deals on bus travel to see how much you could save. With zigzag, MANGO cards and saver tickets, there’s a fare to suit every bus user, whether travelling for work, school or fun.

You can also throw out any idea of bus travel being a hassle or uncomfortable. We’re constantly upgrading our really good trentbarton fleet to make sure that you travel in style – some routes even have leather seats and free WiFi on board so you can either relax or catch up with some last minute emails while you ride, meaning travelling time doesn’t have to be wasted time. We also aim for our buses to be the most convenient option all round, with easy access buggy buses, late night buses and super fast direct buses all ready and waiting to get you to where you need to go. And with the new real time trentbarton live departure updates, you’ll know exactly when the next bus is due – no more waiting around at the bus stop for our customers!


So, whether you want to enjoy a great night out without worrying about driving home, fancy an affordable day out for the family (try the bargain £9 zigzag group ticket!), or you just need to get to work as quickly and cheaply as possible, we’re sure we’ve got the perfect bus service for you.


Get involved in Catch the Bus Week for a comfy, great value and better for the environment way to get around, all round. See you on the bus!

Read more about Catch the Bus Week and the work of Greener Journeys here and here.