myTrip operator spotlight
Removing the barrier to bus travel with myTrip
We interview Gary Newby, Managing Director at Reliance Motor Services. Gary talks about his family business at the heart of his local community, becoming a transport manager at the age of 24 and how his recent investment in technology with myTrip has helped him adapt to a changing market.
The nearly 100-year-old operator (est. 1926!) is based close to Sutton on the Forest, near York, with services covering a wide network across North Yorkshire. Jamie Kerslake, Customer Success Manager at Passenger, caught up with Gary on a visit to the depot in January 2023.
Tell us about Reliance
Gary begins by sharing how he started out and the importance of Reliance to him personally. “It’s a family business so at 16 years old I started as an apprentice mechanic, working towards, and gaining, a qualification in advanced engineering. I moved into more areas of the business and qualified as a transport manager at the age of 24. I became a full partner in the business, taking it over with my wife Hollie, before Christmas in 2020. Our people and our commitment to a high standard of service are what make Reliance special.
When Jamie asks him his favourite thing about the industry, Gary replies “The long hours and low pay!” then adds “But seriously, the daily buzz of making a difference to the local community, who are at the heart of everything we do. I know that at the end of the day, our bus services and our people are making a difference to the community I grew up in.” Gary employs 37 people at Reliance and says that keeping a local touch is important to the business.
“myTrip has improved our customer experience and removed barriers to travel. Particularly the younger generation as they make their first foray into travel and often make their first journey on the bus with the app in their hand.”
Reliance Motor Services
Why did you choose myTrip?
Reliance was one of the very first operators to join the myTrip platform when it launched in 2020. When we asked Gary about why Reliance wanted to join myTrip, he responded “we wanted to offer an app option to our customers without paying huge fees for custom development. There was no solution on the market for us at the point myTrip came along.”
Gary continues, “The whole process was very simple – we linked up our various feeds and provided ticket information and following testing, we were up and running very quickly.” He’s referring to the vehicle tracking data feed that comes from Ticketer’s ETMs, something called a SIRI-VM feed, where the VM stands for Vehicle Monitoring.
Reflecting on the last two years with myTrip, Gary comments “It has improved our customer experience and removed barriers to travel. Particularly the younger generation as they make their first foray into travel and often make their first journey on the bus with the app in their hand.”
Beyond mobile ticketing
Jamie mentions the myTrip integration with bustimes.org that went live last year, where all of an operator’s tickets are listed automatically on the bustimes.org website because they’re on the myTrip platform. Gary’s positive about this, “It’s really great – anything we can do to promote our tickets to customers is a bonus for us”.
It’s not the only thing the team have been working on to make marketing and promotion as easy as possible for operators. There’s a raft of promotional graphics that myTrip operators can access to use on their own social media channels and websites.
Gary confirms how much Reliance make use of this operator marketing pack, “A lot – the graphics and resources are great for our social media channels as well as onboard our vehicles. Having the resources available in a premade format saves us time and keeps the team focused on serving our customers”.
Prompted to share his favourite thing about myTrip, Gary says the answer is simple, “It has improved our passenger’s experience of bus travel!”
As for the future, Gary’s positive about the role of buses in their communities. Despite the challenges of the current economic climate he comments, “There is so much change in so many areas, which makes planning and delivering a network challenging. It’s a wait-and-see market at the moment for us, but as a business, we remain optimistic about the future of public transport and we are ready to rise to the challenge as they are presented.”