Ewan shares his story and insights into the pandemic response

Ewan shares his story and insights into the pandemic response

I am the Operations Supervisor in charge of a fleet of buses in the Caledonia Depot, so around 300 buses and I’m in charge of the daily run out.

This includes dealing with any defects in the morning and making sure every driver has a vehicle. I deal with the day to day running of the buses, we have other staff to manage and deal with the drivers but my main position is dealing with the vehicles.

It’s a big depot, I came from a smaller depot but I was interested to see how things worked here and I wanted the challenge.

It’s all in the planning, what buses are going on, what’s running and certain buses need to be in at night for their inspections. Mornings are busiest as drivers might need their coolant topped up, or a light bulb needing replaced so I’ll organise a fitter. We have fitters, service assist staff and a depot inspector all around to help but I coordinate what needs to be done by who and when.
The pandemic made my role quite hectic and we’ve had to deal with constant changes. It was all unknown to everybody and we’d never experienced anything like it. In the beginning a lot of the fleet came off the road, so the buses were parked up until we knew what was happening. I was furloughed for a short time, but I worked through the majority of it [the pandemic]. Then when things started to open again we started getting more buses back on the road. Due to being inactive for months it was a challenge to get all the buses ready and going again but we did and it all settled pretty quickly.

Adapting to the constant service changes to match the lockdown levels has also been challenging.

It felt like we were changing the schedule boards every couple of week and we’d have to organise and get the details ready for the drivers. Its settled down now but as things begin to ease over the coming weeks we’ll be ready for any changes that come our way.

Although it’s been a busy, changeable time, it’s also been brilliant as everyone has just got on with it and rallied round, to get everything running smoothly. Its proved how quickly we can change things and adapt, something we thought we could never do! We’re used to service changes once every 6 months but this has been literally constant.”