September 17, 2015, by Kirsty McKeown
You’re Welcome! A Q&A with Phil Rowson. Award winning Driver of the Year!
We are very excited about this week’s blog and we hope you enjoy reading it just as much! Without further ado, here is a Q&A with Phil Rowson- a celebrated Nottingham City Transport (NCT) bus driver who has taken thousands of students and staff on and off campus and it is clear to see that he loves his job!
Tell us a bit about yourself…
My name is Phil Rowson and I’ve worked for Nottingham City Transport for nearly 15 years. NCT was officially recognised as 2014’s UK Bus Operator of the Year and my mate Les Roome was crowned UK Driver of the Year at the same time, so students who are new to Nottingham can be assured they’re in safe hands!
Tell us a little bit about your job…
My main route is NCT’s Orange Uni 34, so it’s my responsibility to transport students and university staff to and from campus safely. The 34 is the only transport service which runs on to University Park, so it’s incredibly popular.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I think I’d have to say, it’s getting to know my regular passengers. Lots of my customers are international students and I always encourage them to teach me phrases in their own language so I can greet them when I next see them! So far, I can say ‘hello’ and ‘you’re welcome’ in Spanish, Italian and Mandarin! Apparently some of the students have even nicknamed me ‘You’re welcome’ thanks to my efforts at speaking their language!
Another part of my job I enjoy is helping out on Nottingham City Transport’s stand at the Freshers’ Fairs, where we sell our academic year pass amongst other things- £199 for unlimited travel in and around the city – including weekends and during holidays.
What is the most interesting thing that has ever happened to you?
I guess the most interesting thing that has happened to me recently is being awarded Nottingham City Transport’s Driver of the Year! We’re assessed over the year by mystery passengers – they mark us on a number of different criteria, including driving standards, knowledge of route and friendliness towards passengers. Out of over 800 drivers, I won! I’ve now been put forward for UK Driver of the Year – the award my friend Les won last year…no pressure then!
How can students help NCT drivers’ day go smoothly?
Simple things really – have your cash (exact money only) or pass ready as you hop on board, take your seat as soon as you can so we can head off quickly and safely, and just have general respect for your driver and your fellow passengers. 99.9% of my passengers do all of these things, so that makes my day easy and enjoyable.
How can you find out information on routes and fares?
There are so many ways! Firstly, I’d encourage you to download the NCT app – it’s just been updated and it’s really easy to use. It gives all the up-to-date information on routes and fares but it also has real-time arrival and departure info, so you never have to miss the bus! Our website www.nctx.co.uk has all the same details, and as all of our buses have free on board 4G Wi-Fi, you can browse on the bus too!
Our Nottingham City Transport Facebook page is incredibly popular, as is our @NCT_Buses Twitter account. If you sign up for it, our text alert service will keep you posted too. Then there’s our helpline number 0115 950 60 70, and of course our Travel Centre on the Old Market Square.