Issue 11: April 2013
Your popular staff newsletter with news, info and prizes!
Welcome to edition eleven.
News from the Top A SMART Subway is getting closer and closer. The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that new ticket machines (carefully disguised under wraps) have been delivered at key stations. The coming months will see lots of activity behind the scenes and it is a hugely exciting time for SPT but there is still a lot of work to be done. An information campaign is being prepared to keep our customers and staff up to date regarding all the changes and Station 16 – our purpose-built training station – is now ready and waiting for the 110 Subway Operations staff due to undergo training on smart technology from 3rd April. There is no let up for Subway modernisation work, however. Partick station’s concourse is on schedule to finish by May, work to transform Kelvinhall and
Ibrox stations in time for 2014 is underway and new brand signage is advancing at Cowcaddens and Kelvinbridge. Hamilton Bus Station was officially opened by Councillor Denis McKenna, SPT’s Vice Chair, recently and the event which included customer engagement was well received. SPT was also given a big pat on the back by Scotland’s Traffic Commissioner, who has gone on record to praise the transport authority for keeping community transport high on the agenda. At the launch of the West of Scotland Community Transport Network earlier this month, Joan Aitken heaped praised on SPT for its “positive contribution”. You might have also read about SPT’s response to the First Bus public consultation on changes to services across Glasgow. We are pleased that First has since extended their consultation period to
give SPT time to comment on their plans but we are currently seeking changes to the regulatory regime to make public consultation on such matters compulsory. We believe that is essential in order to protect passenger’s best interests in future and will continue to champion that important issue.
News Just In SPT has been shortlisted in an incredible 11 categories in the annual Scottish Transport Awards. Well done everyone! See all the nominations online at www. transporttimesevents.co.uk/awards. php/Scottish-Transport-Awards-3
Yes, we’re going Smart! As the countdown to Smartcard is officially on, training sessions for more than 110 Subway Operations staff will take place from 3rd April onwards at Broomloan test site Station 16. Inside SPT caught up with Subway Training Officer Barbara Reid to find out why the advent of integrated ticketing marks a time of innovation in the Subway’s 116-year-old history and what staff can expect at the sessions. Barbara said: “The existing system has been in place since the 1990s, so the new equipment is completely different to what staff are used to. The Subway is moving from a system based on mechanical machinery to a network/pc-led digital system, which is a sizable shift, but none the less, an exciting one! ” The new equipment, currently being installed across the system, comprises of: Ticket Office Machines (TOMs), Automatic
Smartcard training will take place in Station 16
Ticket Ticket Gates (ATGS), Local Device Controllers (LDCS, which remotely operate the ATGs) and Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs). Training will be rolled out in two phases, with the first covering everything staff need to know about new TOMs, ATGs, LDCs and the Smartcard transition period. The second phase, starting in June, will focus on the TVMs and Smartcard ‘GoLive’, when the system is fully Smart. Although there’s quite a bit to take in, Barbara’s confident that the bespoke training will go down well with staff: “Training will be mostly practical, focusing on familiarising staff with the new
equipment and how it operates, although there will be some theory elements, too. We’ve designed the sessions to be fun and engaging as well as informative, so I hope staff will enjoy themselves as they are learning.” Sessions will last four hours in total and staff are invited to do a ‘refresher’ if they feel they would like to revisit what was covered. Other staff at SPT will have the chance to take part in training at a later date, however Subway Operations staff are the main priority. Paperless, contactless ticketing will make using the system quicker and easier for passengers, but what impact will Smart technology have for the staff that will use it day on day? Barbara explained: “As I’ve mentioned, the current system is a good age so there are regular hiccups. When the new system is up and running, passengers will have a more pleasant user experience, which in turn means less complaints – and for staff, this can only be a hugely positive thing.”
Stand up for comedy on the subway! Comedy fans were treated to a night of laughs at St Enoch Subway station recently as the first Subway stand-up gig, in partnership with the Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF), went down a storm. The event, which sold out in a matter of days, saw four stellar acts perform to merry makers in the heart of the concourse at St Enoch station. Local acts Chris Henry, Kieron Nicholson, Mikey Adams and headliner Des Clarke, with the help of comedic compere Bruce Devlin, wowed the crowd with an exuberant, eclectic mix of jokes and anecdotes. SPT Vice Chair Kaye Harmon was in the audience and agreed that the night was a huge success:
“The show was laugh-out-loud funny and everyone in the audience clearly enjoyed themselves. “Hosting a gig like this in a Subway station was an unusual idea and it was great to see the space be used in such a creative way – it really worked.” Even the artists involved agreed the night was different to anything they had done before. Bruce said: “This has to be in my top three strangest locations to do a comedy gig! Luckily the audience really loved the novelty factor, as did the acts taking part.” The stand-up gig comes just one month after the first subway film screening, hosted in February as part of the Glasgow Film Festival, also wowed audiences with an extra special screening of cult classic ‘The Warriors’.
With both events selling out in lightning quick time, it’s clear that these unique events strike a chord with audiences. Comedy fan Bob Smythe said: “I use the Subway every day and am a big fan of stand-up so when I saw this event advertised I was intrigued to see how it would work. Bringing the station to life after hours with top-class comedy makes me see it as more than just a functional, public space.” SPT partners Capital Radio were also present on the night and kindly provided audience members with goody bags full of treats to keep them going throughout the evening.
Joke What time does Sean Connery arrive at Wimbledon? Tennish.
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