David Head from Transdev Australasia has engaged in an interview responding to questions about the actual COVID-19 crisis
As Head of Operations for Melbourne Bus, what currently is your biggest challenge?
“At the moment the biggest challenge is leading our business through the COVID-19 outbreak, which has brought unprecedented challenges to our business. It has been a very busy period working to ensure all our staff have all the information they need to be able to continue providing our essential service to the community and keeping our staff safe. In a short time we have ramped up our response by putting in a number of measures to protect our drivers. This includes being the first operator in Melbourne to support our drivers to not handle cash, closing off the front seats behind the door and driver, and closing the front Myki device to improve social distancing.”
You are also providing support to the bus operations in QLD & WA, can you tell us a bit about that?
” I was very fortunate to be asked to provide support to our Queensland business during the second half of last year. Going into their business when a lot was changing, the team there were incredibly warm and welcoming. They were about to embark on a new contract regime and it was great to work with them on the preparation and planning so that Transdev could show it was a leading operator right from the start. I’ve also been fortunate to work collaboratively with our WA business and with Bob Parton (General Manager Operations TDWA) to share ideas on how we can make both businesses better.”
How did you get into public transportation operations?
“My dad was a bus driver and I loved transport from a kid. I started driving buses when I turned 19 for a small family business at Bankstown Airport (which is now part of Transdev). I left my management job in fast food and got a depot support role at Connex NSW Taren Point (also now part of Transdev). After various roles with Connex, I moved to Melbourne in 2006 to manage the bus terminal for the Commonwealth Games. It was only supposed to be for three months, but I’ve been here ever since. While down here, I’ve also worked for the Department of Transport, Yarra Trams and Qantas before coming back to my roots (or should that be routes) and joining Transdev Melbourne. I love to make things work and I love working with people so being in Bus Operations is something that I was destined for.”
What do you like to do outside of work to relax?
“I have the most beautiful Chihuahua x Foxie called Piper. We spend our time away from work hanging out and walking all over the place. She is sitting on my shoulder while I write this. I also love looking after my garden and I really enjoy cooking in between work phone calls!”