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Post COVID-19 Air Travel – Customer Experience Challenges

I recently took a long-haul flight from Dubai to the UK in early June. Post COVID-19 has resulted in some significant changes resulting in some challenges between creating a great customer experience and COVID-19 precautionary measures. There are a lot more queues Before COVID-19, there was a 1hr 30 minute...
Careem ebike and post COVID precautions

Careem ebikes in Dubai – the easy way to cycle

I have very much missed cycling during lockdown, so I was extremely happy to see that Careem ebikes opened up again last week. I downloaded the app, paid my weekly fee, sanitised my hands, put on the gloves, unlocked the bike and I was ready to go! It should be...
COVID 19 Holding Message

Global Public Transport Operators – COVID-19 Recovery Plans

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an extraordinary effect on health, world's economy and general day-to-day life and sadly it isn't over yet. What I have found heartening, as someone who is an avid public transport user, are the plans to restart public transport operations. A summary of these measures (Asia...
Au Revoir to Virgin Trains

Au revoir Virgin Trains

From June to December 2019, Surbon Consulting supported the demobilisation team of Virgin Trains as Virgin Trains (51% Virgin/ 49% Stagecoach) handed over to the new operator of First Trenitalia West Coast (First Group 70%, Trenitalia 30%). It was a pleasure to work with Virgin Trains looking after franchise compliance,...
5 ferries

5 facts about the 5 ferries challenge in Scotland

I was delighted to complete the 5 ferries challenge in the west coast of Scotland with my mother yesterday. This is a 70-mile route by bike with 5 ferry legs. Given my preparations regarding training could best be described as minimal, it was a relief to make it round in...
NorthLink Ferries Route Map

Great to have been part of the winning Serco Northlink bid team

On Friday 19th September 2019, Transport Scotland announced that Serco were the preferred bidder for the £450 million NorthLink ferries contract (Aberdeen – Shetland/Orkney) for the next 8 years. It was great that Surbon Consulting supported the Serco bid team to this win! In the new contract, customers can expect...
50 tips to improve your next transport bid

50 tips for your next transport bid

I am very happy to announce that my new ebook "50 tips to improve your next transport bid" will be available to buy on my website by 20th July. 2019. The ebook will initially available in pdf version, I'll be adding an ePub version over the coming weeks for you...
Rachel Hughes at UITP

UITP 2019 – 3 highlights

UITP 2019 in Stockholm was a fantastic conference, not only due to the 18 hour long days, non stop sun and lovely city but the quality and quantity of presentations were thoroughly enjoyable! Art in public transport was an interesting topic with plenty of art on display, including on the...
Trainy McTrainface and its interior. Breitling watches demonstrate the commitmment ot punctuality.

Travelling on Trainy McTrainface

It’s been great to attend UITP 2019 in Stockholm. I took the opportunity to attend one of the technical visits namely on MTR Express named Trainy McTrainface,and hear from the CEO Mats Jansen about the challenges and opportunities of the open access market rail market in Sweden. MTR Express run...
Caledonian Sleeper Summary

New Caledonian Sleeper Trains

It was fantastic to attend the launch of the new Caledonian Sleeper trains on 29th April at Glasgow Central station. The launch event featured presentations from: Ryan Flaherty, MD of Caledonian Sleeper, Rupert Soames MD of Serco Group and regular traveller on the Sleeper, Michael Mathieson, MSP Cabinet Secretary for...
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CILT Event – Community Rail Lancashire, Accrington, May 2022

Thanks to CILT (UK) and CMAC Group for the recent community rail event at Accrington and Blackburn. We learnt about the good work of Community Rail Lancashire, involving local schoolchildren and artists to brighten up Blackburn station and Accrington station. Artwork really does help to make an environment far more welcoming. A further example...
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Young Rail Professionals, Manchester, April 2022

It was great to have been invited to Young Rail Professionals dinner as a guest of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) table in Manchester last Thursday. It was the first time that this event has been held since before COVID-19. There were therefore 3 years of celebrations to...
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UITP MENA, Dubai, Feb 2022

Thanks to  UITP MENA and RTA for hosting a fabulous 3 day conference in Dubai. Highlights for me were: Speaking about electric bus procurement as part of a sustainability session. Some photos are below of my presentation which focussed on the good, the bad and the ugly of electric bus procurement. With electric bus being classed...
Electric Bus_Dubai

Travelling on an Electric Bus, Dubai, Feb 2022

While in Dubai for UITP MENA 2022 Congress, I took the opportunity to try out RTA's new electric bus which travels between La Mer South to Al Sufouh tram station. It's currently free and indeed there are no ticket validators on the bus. So if you are in Dubai and...
Rachel hughes at MTCE2022

MENA Transport Congress, Dubai, Feb 2022

February is going to be a busy month as I am also going to be speaking at MENA Transport Congress on procurement of electric buses. After almost 2 years of the pandemic, it will be great to attend an actual conference talking about all things public transport. Check out https://www.menatransport.org/website/3387/home/...
UrbanPlanning_Feb2022

UITP’s Integration of urban planning and public transport Course in Singapore, Feb 2022

Looking forward to delivering a talk on parking policy for UITP's course on Integration of Urban Planning and Public Transport in Singapore in February 2022. For more information about the course and to sign up please use this link: https://www.uitp.org/trainings/integration-of-urban-planning-and-public-transport/
Description of 12 Bays of Jersey swimming challenge 2021 and what3word locations

12 bays of Christmas, Jersey, Jan 2022

Another year another, cold water swimming challenge! Being an avid fan of swimming, on a recent trip on Christmas and New Year to the Channel island of Jersey, my mum and I took part in the 12 bays of Jersey challenge which involved swimming in 12 bays of Jersey in...
View-from-Korean-Stand

Expo 2020 Recommendations

After visiting Expo in Milan in 2015, I was intrigued to visit Expo in Dubai which is running between October 2021 and March 2022 and loved it. After two years of a global pandemic, it's great to see such a fascinating global exhibition. Read on for my recommendations to get...
CILT on a Chiltern Train

Fellowship of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport

I was delighted to be awarded fellowship of the Chartered Logistics and Transport in September and celebrated by taking a photo of my certificate on a Chiltern train (as you do). Look forward to attending the events including the annual dinner at the end of November and getting involved in...
East West Mainline 30 September 2021

East West Main Line Conference, Oxford – September 2021

It was great to attend Peleton's conference about the progress on East West Main Line today at Oxford Town Hall. This was my second in person event in the same month, what a novelty post pandemic! Meeting people face to face is so much better than Teams. See below for...