Video – Training helped me deliver network-wide improvements

Simon Harris has single-handedly improved Blackpool Transport’s bus services – and said it is all down to the training he received from Omnibus. 

The former bus driver has spent the last few years rewriting every route so that each service runs on time. He said this is largely thanks to the Omnibus training, which “gave me a thorough knowledge basis to do my job and to help improve the buses of Blackpool”. 

Simon joined the commercial team in 2014 as a trainee network planner. He had impressed managers with his suggestions to improve Service 7 and, recognising the importance of good training, they sent him to Omnibus to learn the art of scheduling. He also benefitted from software training from the supplier’s industry-qualified schedulers. 

Now referred to as the senior network planner by colleagues, Simon said the knowledge he gained on the courses proved invaluable. 

Simon said: “I used what I learned to rewrite the Service 7 timetable which had no chance of running to time. They implemented it and the service became reliable. All of a sudden, buses were turning up when they were supposed to and that resulted in more passengers using it. 

“I was then able to use that knowledge to create network-wide improvements. So, since 2014 I’ve gone from suggesting how to improve one route to basically rewriting the whole network. This would not have been possible without the Omnibus training which gave me the knowledge and tools to drive those changes.” 

The manual scheduling course gave Simon a solid foundation in how to produce efficient schedules. And after five days of software training, he could build schedules, crew duties and create weekly rotas. 

Richard Yeo, Technical Account Manager at Omnibus who delivered the software training, said the intuitive nature of the system meant Simon picked it up very quickly. 

He said: “We worked through key aspects of each module using Blackpool Transport’s data and building schedules from the timetable stage, through to vehicle scheduling and crew duty compilation and then the creation of weekly rotas.” 

Simon said: “Richard is great at delivering training because he knows what schedulers need to know in order to do their job. He understands that writing a timetable isn’t just a case of writing a few numbers on a piece of paper.  

“He helps you through the whole process of writing a timetable, to creating the duties, to creating rosters to make sure that you fully understand the programmes available to you. I was then able to use that knowledge to create network-wide improvements. 

“Once you know the Omnibus systems inside-out, you can be more efficient with time usage and get the results as quick as you need them.”