Vitto, 38, is Transdev’s new Operations Director based in Harrogate, while Paul, 46, is the company’s new Commercial Director, based in Burnley.
Vitto’s new role combines responsibility for operational and engineering functions – a new departure for the man who became Transdev’s Head of Delivery in June 2018. He first joined the bus industry as a driver for Trent Barton in 2004, rising rapidly to become driver mentor, lead driver and detailer, before becoming General Manager at the company’s Sutton depot. He took over as Operations Manager at Nottingham, Trent Barton’s biggest depot, in 2016.
Paul’s first taste of transport came beside the sea in 1998, when he joined Blackpool’s tramway as a seasonal conductor before retraining as a bus driver the following year.
At the start of 2000 Paul began a 12-year career journey with renowned consultancy The TAS Partnership, where his passion to improve public transport developed while working closely with many of the UK’s leading bus, tram and light rail operating groups. That led to a move to First’s Yorkshire-based business and commercial team in 2012, before becoming Transdev’s Head of Commercial Development two years ago.
Vitto says: “Bringing previously separate departments such as engineering and operations closer together to work and succeed is the holy grail in the bus industry – but at Transdev, we’re always ready to think differently about how we can do things better.
“We’re currently introducing a digital transformation of our engineering function, which we’re calling ‘Power Up’ – working with our Engineering Performance Manager Luke Stephenson, our executive team has recognised the need to modernise and share best practice across all of our locations.
“Starting with Harrogate, and then spreading across the company, we’re introducing a full-fleet digital management system, which will give our engineers the ability to carry out vehicle inspections electronically for the first time – and the data that generates will feed into the wider business, including to our parts stores and finance colleagues. Operations teams can see at a glance what buses are available, while drivers will be able to complete essential vehicle checks digitally, speeding up the flow of information back to engineers and making routine maintenance more efficient.
“We’re also investing in driver training and welfare facilities across the company this year and next, while out on the road, we’re preparing to launch new buses for York City Sightseeing, our Witchway Burnley and Manchester and the ever-popular Cityzap between Leeds and York.”
Meanwhile Paul is looking forward to the challenge of attracting customers old and new back to the bus, as demand for travel returns. Paul says: “We’re already working with key destinations, such as colleges, to explain how we can help with their return in the next few months. In the new normal, it’s not just about promoting our product – we now blend that with reassurance about safety and hygiene through our ‘Clean, Safe, Ready to Go’ campaigns.
“It’s also vital that we continue to develop our dialogue with customers, so we can offer a service that’s tailor-made to their needs, informed by the data we receive from our services, and the much valued ideas and suggestions received from our teams, through our regular ‘Talk Shop’ briefings.
“As we move through the stages of the pandemic, we’ve risen to the challenge of developing reliable and efficient schedules for our bus services in record time. Normally Christmas is the only time when everything changes at once, yet in the last few months we produced eight or nine new schedules, each one led by what the data and trends are telling us.
“We’re busy right now preparing for the next set of changes in July, to make sure we’re ready to welcome more customers to more and better services.”
Alex Hornby, as CEO, has welcomed the promotions of his two colleagues.
“Any great company is dependent upon the skills, passion and determination of its people. Here at Transdev Blazefield, I am deeply fortunate to have the support of many, just like Vitto and Paul who are amongst the very best at what they do. Our operational and commercial functions – and the teams who support them – are in great hands, and I am very much looking forward to continuing to develop our visionary and customer-led business with our many amazing colleagues throughout our company.”
Meanwhile Vitto is also expecting an important new arrival of his own – as he’s due to become a dad for the first time in October!