Heroic bus station supervisor scoops top transport award in successful night for the West Midlands
Published: Monday 09 Oct 2023
Bus station supervisor Kate Evans has been named frontline employee of the year at the UK National Transport Awards for her dedication to passenger safety.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) was also named transport authority of the year, and the West Midlands Metro scooped tram operator of the year in a successful evening at the public transport industry ‘Oscars’.
Kate, who is based at Wolverhampton and Bilston bus stations, has gone above and beyond the call of duty in offering support to members of the public including playing a pivotal role in saving a pedestrian involved in a car accident and providing first aid care to a passenger.
She has also shown care in helping a distressed lost child – earning their trust and receiving critical information relating to their recent abuse and shown compassion in supporting a young autistic passenger on their first day travelling by bus to a new school. She also intervened during a robbery to ensure the safety of a passenger who had been targeted for their phone.
Anne Shaw, executive director for TfWM, said: “Kate’s resourcefulness, concern for vulnerable people and dedication to the safety of the travelling public has shone through and she thoroughly deserves the award and the standing ovation she received at the ceremony. We are all immensely proud of her and the contribution she makes day in, day out and it is fitting she has received this in National Customer Service Week.”
TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), also scooped the top honour of ‘Transport Authority of the Year’ in recognition of a fantastic year in which it opened a redeveloped Perry Barr railway station, completed the Westside Metro extension, completed phase 1 of the Sprint rapid transit bus scheme and saw an increase in passenger numbers across bus, tram, train and cycle hire.
It also efficiently and effectively organised and oversaw the transport of 1.5 million spectators and 40,000 staff and competitors across the region during the 2022 Commonwealth Games. This included the successful coordination of 2,938 shuttle buses, regular bus services, park and ride facilities and a free West Midlands Cycle Hire offer to help ensure that transport disruption was kept to a minimum.
And to complete the trio of awards West Midlands Metro, which is owned by the WMCA, was named ‘Tram Operator of the Year’ after seeing a strong Covid recovery with 5.35 million passenger journeys, enhanced by the opening of the Westside extension to Edgbaston.
Anne added: “These awards are recognition for a fine team effort. We have worked to overcome significant challenges including a difficult economic backdrop for our transport operators and the recovery from Covid to protect our bus, tram and rail services and ensure major year-on-year growth in passenger numbers.
“The team also played their part in the delivery of a successful Commonwealth Games – developing a travel app and organising transport to ensure that spectators and staff got to their venues on time.
“As well as managing the existing transport networks we are making an unprecedented investment in the future of our transport including the development of new railway stations, more bus priority routes, more Metro extensions, seamless tap-and-go ticketing and more zero-emission buses.”
The UK National Transport Awards are organised by Transport Times.
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