The community of Oxford is celebrating a milestone this week when the township’s only public bus service to Christchurch turns 5!
Red Bus, one of New Zealand’s most experienced public bus providers, operates the service. However, it’s not just how long the wheels have been turning that matter. Red Bus management will be the first to tell you it’s the customers and the front line staff who are driving this public service that provides classic customer experience. It’s this very service which has made this public bus ride a success story!
They say it takes a village to raise a child and perhaps that can be said for a bus service! The majority of passengers frequenting the service are Primary and High School students who attend 13 different schools across the Christchurch Area.
Red Bus driver combo of Peter Watts and Nikki Johnson are both locals of Oxford and passionate about the township and their passengers they take on board.
Peter has been residing in Oxford for 20+ years and was the first driver. He continued until recently being appointed the Red Bus Training Coordinator, where amongst other things he is teaching the importance of knowing your customers.
Nikki comes from a family of nurses and before taking up the role to drive her Oxford passengers she worked as a caregiver. This natural ‘care’ factor is obvious to anyone who catches the bus.
Nikki loves the rapport that has developed over the past 5 years between students, adult, families, the local community and the Red Bus team. Nikki’s dedication to customer service has her in touch with parents and families of her younger passenger when appropriate.
One of Nikki’s initiatives has been to personalise public transport by organising Birthday Cakes or Pizza Days on the last Friday of every term for her passengers.
Ask Nikki what she has enjoyed the most and her answer is simple and honest, watching the ‘village grow’ and the Red Bus service grow.
To celebrate the 5th Birthday, Red Bus is organising some surprises for passengers throughout the week.
So on behalf of Red Bus, Happy Birthday Oxford service and thank you to the community for your support to make this a success. There is still room for more locals to hop on board! This fully commercial service receives no subsidies from local councils or government so more passengers are most welcome to join the service.
The Oxford Bus service operates Monday-Friday school terms. Find out more https://www.redbus.co.nz/services/oxford-service/