Bus Operations and Management

NB: See the following links for particular coverage of these operational issues;

  • Punctuality and Reliability
  • Bus Service Quality issues, including Quality Contracts
  • Bus Rapid Transit

Alan has spent much of his career to date in bus company management, including operations and planning as well as general management. His consultancy work has also included several studies with an operational element. The following are of particular note;

Alan was Managing Director of Scottish Citylink Coaches Ltd in the period up to and including its privatisation in 1991. The company runs express coach services within Scotland – at that time it also ran services to the rest of the UK, particularly London. Alan was responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction following the break-up of an important operating agreement and led the company’s successful Management/Employee Buy-out. He was also responsible for the management of coach operators under contract.

Before that, Alan was Operations Manager for the Midland Scottish bus company based in Falkirk (now part of First Group). He oversaw the period of Bus Service Deregulation, developing a journey costing model which he successfully used to define the core network of commercial services. He introduced Electronic Ticket Machines, evaluated Computerised Scheduling and improved management information systems. He was responsible for negotiations with Regional Council regarding Concessionary Fares, involving elasticity studies.

As Special Advisor to the Dubai Municipality Public Transport Department, Alan assisted the organisation to achieve its objectives of significantly increasing passenger numbers while continuing to meet the majority of costs from revenue. His responsibilities included Route Review, revision of Fare Structures, determining appropriate Standards, appraising and implementing IT systems for Route Planning and Scheduling, justification of Bus Priority measures, etc.

He also took a similar role at the Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO), covering Operations, Marketing and General Management. The company operates around 2,500 buses, mainly on long-distance services but with significant urban operation. Alan’s work included revenue generation, cost reduction, policy for urban services, market studies, company organisation, etc.

Alan also carried out a number of consultancy projects for SAPTCO covering various aspects of bus operation.

Other consultancy projects;

Kuwait Public Transport Masterplan; Alan provided specialist input in respect of bus planning and operations to a major public transport planning study aimed at increasing public transport use by making significant improvements in PT services. (for Kuwait Municipality)

Institutional Development Strategy, Mumbai; Alan provided strategic advice to the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport Company (BEST), which operates over 3,000 buses in Mumbai (Bombay). He was responsible for a major part of the bus industry-related input, ensuring adoption of international best practice in bus operations. (with Tata Consultancy Services)

Easter Bush Bus Service Options; Alan advised the University of Edinburgh in respect of securing improved bus services to their Easter Bush campus, including design of routes and timetables, advice on service procurement, estimates of demand, revenue and costs, required quality standards etc.

Alan has also worked on two Reviews of Public Transport in East Lothian, and one in Scottish Borders, all of which included consideration of bus operational aspects.

Bus Operations also formed a significant part of Alan’s work on the Weymouth Portland Olympic Transport Package Major Scheme Bid, and the Durham Accessibility Study