From Ukraine to Perivale: Maksym’s new life at Metroline

Metroline has played a pivotal part in the stories of many from across the world over the years. For Engineering Mechanic Maksym, it has been a job that has helped build a new life for him and his family after escaping the devastating conflict in Ukraine.

Originally from Kherson, a city that has seen significant fighting and bombardment during the conflict, Maksym, his wife and daughter were able to leave due to the UK’s Ukrainian Sponsorship Scheme. “My wife looked online and saw about the volunteers in UK who were sponsoring Ukrainians to come the UK,” he recalls. “We found someone and wrote him a message, got acquainted with him via video and they were happy to write an invitation. First came my wife and daughter and I followed 6 months later.”

Thanks to the hospitality of the host family, they were quickly able to settle. Hs wife has been able to start a business providing manicures and pedicures whilst his daughter, now 12 goes to school. Maksym, a mechanic back home, was quickly able to find work at Metroline thanks to the help of a friend and has now already worked here for a year. ““I like this company…everyone has welcomed me really well and I like repairing cars, bus, everything!” he says.

Even so, London’s buses have taken some getting used to. “In Ukraine buses are small, not too big, no double-deckers, all buses are diesel,” explains Maksym. It’s no surprise then that he prefers working on those more traditional mechanical vehicles, rather than the newer vehicles. “I prefer Volvos, Hydrogen no good!” he jokes.

Maksym is also very thankful for the help that the garage, particularly Engineering Manager Gareth Muckett, has given him. “This garage has a good manager, an amazing man. He helped me every time, I have questions for him, he helps every time,” Maksym says.

Gareth is happy to have been able to help, “Maksym is a good guy, and works hard. I’m glad we’ve been able to give him an opportunity to get away from a war-torn country and build a new life at Metroline.”

Metroline Awarded Contracts To Operate Four Franchises In Greater Manchester

  • Experienced Bus Operator Metroline will operate the Hyde Road, Sharston, Tameside and Wythenshawe franchises commencing 5 January 2025
  • Represents a significant addition to the wider ComfortDelGro Group’s growing presence across the United Kingdom, which already includes operations in 23 different towns and cities
(Left to Right) Steve Warrener, Managing Director, TfGM, Edward Thomas, CEO, ComfortDelGro UK, Phil Sanders, Chief Financial Officer, Metroline, Patrick Sibley, Regional CEO, Metroline, Paul Adcock, Business Development Executive, Metroline, Anne Marie Purcell, Chief Transformation Officer, TfGM

MANCHESTER, 28 March 2024 –Metroline Limited, a member of global land-transport group ComfortDelGro has been awarded contracts to operate four franchises in Greater Manchester by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).


Metroline is the fourth largest scheduled bus operator in London and operates about 17 percent of the city’s scheduled bus services. It is part of ComfortDelGro’s wider operations in the UK, which include; Argyle Satellite, Adventure Travel, CityFleet Networks, Computer Cab, KingKabs, Scottish Citylink Coaches, Megabus and Westbus Coach Services. These companies operate in 23 different towns and cities, offering a comprehensive range of point-to-point and public transport solutions including buses, coaches, taxis, and private hire vehicles.


Once part of the Bee Network, people living in Greater Manchester will benefit from a more accountable service, with passengers able to rate their journey and levels of customer feedback in a way that will impact what operators get paid to run the services. Metroline has a proven track record of pioneering green technologies on buses and providing excellent customer service, with drivers regularly receiving commendations and industry awards. Passengers in Greater Manchester can expect a community focused service on Metroline’s buses on the Bee Network, when they enter operation in January.


ComfortDelGro’s Chief Executive Officer, Europe Business Unit, Mr Edward Thomas said “We are grateful for the trust placed in us by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and will work closely with all our stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition of services as we work towards delivering the Bee Network vision. We look forward to serving the community in the Greater Manchester area by providing a safe and reliable service, and an elevated passenger experience. We also look forward to being considered the preferred operator of choice across England and Wales.”


ComfortDelGro Chairman and Chairman of Metroline holding company Braddell Limited, Mr Mark Greaves said, “We are honoured to have been chosen to operate these franchises and proud to add these new successes to what has already been achieved in the UK. This win is a testament to our commitment to service quality and operational excellence, and will significantly expand our network, deepening our Group’s presence across the United Kingdom. This aligns with our broader strategy to strengthen and strategically grow our core public transportation and point-to-point businesses and solidify our reputation as the multi-modal transport operator of choice.”




Engineering Excellence Embodied – Glen Kelly’s Skills Challenge Success

Glen Kelly has proven himself one of the rising stars of Metroline’s Engineering team following his exceptional success at the IRTE Skills Challenge. A Coachmaker Based at CELF, Glen won best Bodywork Technician at the 2023 skills challenge, proving himself against engineers from different operators across the country and beyond.

The IRTE Skills Challenge is an annual competition taking place in Bristol for talented engineers in the Bus and Coach sectors. Over 35 teams of engineers from around the world take part and engage in a range of challenges to establish the best of the best.

Glen was challenged with numerous tasks designed to test the entrants to their full ability, including masking a car to demonstrate masking and painting preparation, and fixing a dented vehicle wing utilising skills such as filling and spraying and fiberglass identification. Glen also had to demonstrate welding, panel making and spraying followed by a written paper.

Despite the challenges, Glen did not feel the pressure, “Welding, spraying and panel making – multiple tasks into one thing. That’s what I enjoyed the most,” Glen recalled. “I thrive on taking stuff apart and then putting it back together. That’s what gives me a sense of achievement, gives me joy.”

Glen joined Metroline 2 years ago, the culmination of an apprenticeship and work with both light and heavy-duty vehicles over 5 years. On his decision to join, Glen recalls, “I thought let me try something else, and then I came here… I think I’ve found my niche.” For Glen, working with buses is continuing the family tradition – he follows in the footsteps of his father who was an engineer, and his grandfather who worked as a Bus Driver, “The old man was happy, he was chuffed to bits, my mum was proud as well – you never expect to win’ says Glen.

Most days Glen can be found in CELF making panels and keeping a watchful eye over his apprentice as he trains the next generation of coachmakers. He is always keen to remind his apprentice to ask for help and tells them, “Be proud of your work. Always do something to the book, and always make it look the best that you can because it represents the way you work as a person, and it represents you as a whole. My advice would be if you come in, go for it, don’t be afraid and always do your best. You can’t go wrong by doing your best can you?”

Campaign to Support and Retain Women in the Bus Industry

Metroline is taking part in the nationwide Women in Bus and Coach initiative, launched to create a national network that encourages, represents, supports and retains women and is backed by Transport for London. Despite progress made in hiring women into bus and coach, women still only make up 10% of employees in our industry. At an inaugural meeting in 2023, women from Bus operators across London were invited to an event where senior figures from each participating company made a commitment to taking steps to improving the industry for women.

In November, a Parliamentary event took place to celebrate the launch of the initiative, attended by bus and coach industry representatives alongside MPs from all sides of the political spectrum. Speakers at the event reaffirmed the need to ensure a continuous focus on issues surrounding support and retention of women in the industry and to stop women from being pushed to the background.

There was a particular emphasis on facilities, menopause, mental health, flexibility in working times and how women can be better attracted to the industry. Metroline has already started taking positive steps, launching a survey for female employees and trialing free sanitary products in female bathrooms at pilot sites across the business. Work has also begun on a recruitment campaign aimed at engaging women who are thinking of joining the industry and dispelling myths by speaking to women from across Metroline.

Deputy Head of Transport Safety Anna Tkaczyk, who is leading the Women in Bus and Coach project for Metroline, said: “This is a significant step towards improving gender equality and inclusivity across the whole industry, and I’m pleased to say that Metroline is taking a proactive role. As a woman who has been in the bus industry for over a decade, it has not always been an easy ride, and it’s encouraging to see that action is being taken to help to create a better working experience for women.”

Deputy Head of Transport Safety Anna Tkaczyk represented Metroline at the Parliamentary Event


2023: A year of Electrifying Progress for Metroline

Having paved the way for zero emissions with 2 electrified garages, the first double deck electric buses in London and end-to-end electric routes, this year saw the electrification of Edgware and the commencement of works at Willesden Junction. With Cricklewood and Perivale set to follow in the near future, landmark electric vehicle orders from Volvo, and the launch of London’s 1000th Electric Vehicle on a Metroline route, 2023 was a big year for electrification at Metroline.


The road to electrification at Edgware was a challenging one, but the power was finally switched on in April, with 28 chargers standing ready to power Edgware’s new fleet of electric buses, made up of the familiar Enviro400EVs which have already proven themselves at Holloway, as well as the Wright StreetDeck Electroliner. The Route 142 between Brent Cross and Watford was the first electric route from Edgware on the road, followed by the Route 204 several months later.


At Willesden Junction, the installation of infrastructure for use of electric vehicles is progressing with the first 12 chargers in place, and work planned to connect the main power grid to the transformers in the near future. Once works are complete in the first few months of 2024, Willesden Junction will see a number electric routes operating from the garage, with vehicles already beginning to arrive.


Elsewhere, improvements are being made to existing garages, with new chargers for Potters Bar for the new electric Route 384 buses activated this month, and future works to further improve capacity at both Potters Bar and Holloway set to take place next year. Finally works at Perivale and Cricklewood are set to begin next year, bringing the number of electric garages to 6 by the end of 2024.


With 164 electric buses in the fleet and counting, Metroline is fast becoming the operator of choice for electric and zero-emissions vehicles. 2024 is set to bring even more milestones for Metroline in bringing greener travel to our customers.


Find out more about Sustainability at Metroline.

A New Bus Garage for Brentford

A render of the large, new Brentford garage building.
A render of the new Brentford garage.

Since 2004 Brentford Bus Garage has been a key part of Metroline, being the launchpad for buses serving Central London via Hammersmith as well as Heathrow, Hounslow. The aging site dating back to the 1960s has long been in need of modernisation to meet the demands of London’s modern bus network.


In 2022, that modernisation commenced with an ambitious project to build a brand new bus garage fit for the 21st century whilst maintaining operation of bus services at a temporary site next door. The significance of the project is not lost on Alix Butler, Zero Emission Transformation Manager, who also oversaw the electrification of Edgware and Willesden Junction Garages. “This project has been on the table for 10 years,” Alix notes. “There’s a huge residential and commercial drive in the Brentford Lock West area, and we want our transportation services to complement this growth.”


Despite the logistical obstacles that such a project entails, Alix had nothing but praise for the Brentford Garage team who rose to the challenge during the move to the temporary facilities; “Moving over to the temporary site wasn’t easy. It’s the team behind us, the operations team, the engineering team, and the drivers have done a great job in keeping it all running. They’ve worked together and really brought this to life.”


The new Brentford Garage is set to be a fantastic place to work, poised to house over 100 vehicles, and seven routes, including the iconic Route 9 from January—a direct link to Central London. This continued investment in infrastructure is part of our ongoing commitment to both our people, passengers and the local community that we serve.

Forging future Engineers with Metroline’s award-winning apprenticeships

Wayne Ellis (centre) and the latest group of Apprentices.

Metroline is home to one of the largest and most successful engineering apprenticeship schemes in London, with apprentices going on to become Master Technicians and even Engineering Managers. It’s a success story that it is hoped to be replicated in other areas such as IT and administration.

The engineering apprenticeship is a five-year program that leads to a Level 3 NVQ qualification in bus and coach engineering. Wayne Ellis, Metroline’s Training and Development Manager oversees the scheme and the future plans for it, “I oversee apprenticeships across the business. We’re expanding into various fields, not just engineering. My role ensures our apprenticeship programs run smoothly, supporting managers and apprentices throughout.”

Metroline’s college partnerships are pivotal. “Most colleges offer some bus and coach apprenticeships, but it’s a niche. We work with Total People and have recently finalised a partnership with Uxbridge College,” Wayne revealed.

The rigorous training process puts apprentices at the fast-moving centre of Metroline’s day-to-day engineering activity. This gives them the skills and experience they need to keep London moving, and puts them in the company of the best in the country early in their careers. A recent example of engineering excellence created by the apprenticeship scheme was seen at this year’s IRTE Skills Challenge in Birmingham. “Our apprentices and technicians face practical scenarios, online tests, and theoretical assessments. Joe David a former apprentice, clinched victory this year, showcasing our program’s success,” Wayne proudly stated.

Fifth year apprentice Ashley Foster shares the positive impact the scheme has had on him: “It’s a great experience. You meet a lot of people in different garages and work with all sorts of people. It is great for developing people’s skills. For somebody that is considering an apprenticeship here, I’d say go for it. Once you’re open to learning, you’ll enjoy it.”

Metroline is committed to shaping the future, and the apprenticeship scheme plays a crucial role.



Mayor Sadiq Khan Launches London’s 1000 Electric Bus At Edgware Garage

(Left to Right) Metroline CEO Sean O’Shea, Senior Supervisor Burhan Uddin, Service Controller Peter Gipson, Driver Raluca Tilihoi, Garage Manager Leroy Webley, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Operations Manager Lukasz Kopczynski, Deputy Head of Transport Anna Tkaczy, Allocation Officer Judy Cox, Engineering Manager Sean Ives
(Left to Right) Metroline CEO Sean O’Shea, Senior Supervisor Burhan Uddin, Service Controller Peter Gipson, Driver Raluca Tilihoi, Garage Manager Leroy Webley, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Operations Manager Lukasz Kopczynski, Deputy Head of Transport Anna Tkaczy, Allocation Officer Judy Cox, Engineering Manager Sean Ives

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visited Edgware Garage earlier to celebrate London’s 1000th Electric Bus.

He met with CEO Sean O’Shea, Garage Manager Leroy Webley and the Edgware Team and was shown around the specially wrapped 1000th bus by London Bus Awards nominee Raluca Tilihoi. Speaking about the success of electric buses, the Mayor said, “London has a world-class public transport network and our zero emission bus fleet is setting the standard for others to follow.”

Before the event started, Driver Tilihoi commented on how nervous she was having to demonstrate the bus for the Mayor, TV camera crews and almost 50 journalists, saying, “it’s really a bit nerve wracking, but I’m ready.” However, our driver did a cracking job and it was clear that all of the invited guests had a great time.

Sean O’Shea, CEO, Metroline, said: “The 1000th electric bus is a significant milestone in the decarbonisation of London and the bus network. Metroline is proud to operate more than 100 electric vehicles across a number of routes with more to follow, transporting tens of thousands of Londoners each day on zero emission vehicles.”

A special thanks and well done to the Edgware team for their hard work in getting the garage ready for the visit.

Route 607 to be renumbered to SL8

  • The SL8 will be the first bus route to become part of the proposed Superloop express bus network
  • Buses on the route, which is currently route 607, will call at the same stops as now, but some bus stop names will change to better reflect their locations
  • Timetable will be extended to provide more early morning and evening services from 19 August

Route 607 between Uxbridge and White City will be renumbered SL8 and rebranded into to become the first part of the proposed Superloop tomorrow (Saturday 15 July) to offer customers an instantly recognisable express bus service in west London.
The timetable for SL8 will be extended to provide more early morning and evening buses from 19 August. Other improvements, including improved customer information and USB charging, will also follow.

Buses on the route will call at the same stops as now, but some of the bus stop names will change to better reflect their locations, such as The Grapes, which will become Hayes / The Grapes.

Louise Cheeseman, Director of Buses at TfL said: “The newly numbered and branded SL8 will provide people in outer London an instantly recognisable express bus route helping to make it easier to choose a sustainable travel option. I urge customers who are used to seeing the 607 to give the SL8 a try.”

Sean O’Shea, CEO at Metroline said: “Metroline is delighted to be the first Bus company in London to operate one of the new Superloop services. This launch marks a milestone in further improving transport links in outer London and our team at Greenford Garage are proud to play their part delivering route SL8 of the Superloop.”

TfL is working to ensure customers are informed of the changes, with branded posters and timetables being placed at bus stops and bus stations plus updated spider maps. Regular users of the routes have received two emails ahead of the changes taking place.

For more information about the proposed Superloop express bus network, please visit

Awards success for Metroline at the London Bus Awards 2023

It was a successful night for Metroline at the London Bus Awards 2023, hosted by Transport for London, with 6 shortlisted nominees across 5 categories, and 1 winner at the end of the night. Congratulations to David Gharu from Uxbridge Garage on winning the Award for Actions above and beyond the call of duty , and a special well done to all Metroline nominees who were shortlisted finalists: Chuyen Chan and Wolfang Chindamo (Outstanding Customer Service), Ancuta-Raluca Tilihoi (Outstanding Newcomer), Mehmet Boluk (Accessibility Champion) and the Willesden Junction Garage team (Best Vehicle Care).

David Gharu is one of Uxbridge garage’s most respected drivers, and no stranger to going above and beyond to ensure the best service for customers. Since 2006, Mr Gharu has demonstrated exemplary service, receiving a 100% score on multiple BCES assessments.

This commitment to service also extends to situations where people are in need. This was the case on one October night in 2022, where Mr Gharu witnessed a young woman in a vulnerable situation and made the split second decision to do what he could as a bus driver to help.

A witness said “My mate was on the bus around 11:30pm, when the driver noticed a car trying to call a young woman at the bus stop into the car, the woman looked scared outside and the bus driver told the women to get on the bus so she was safe making sure she went somewhere with loads of lights. My friend was really amazed with how this bus driver reacted to this situation. Anything could have happened to this woman if this bus driver didn’t help this young woman with his quick thinking and kind helpfulness, he then drove the woman into town so she was somewhere well lit, this driver was absolutely amazing and I think he deserves praise. I personally believe this driver was really amazing.”

This would not be the last time Mr Gharu would go above and beyond. One night in May 2023, he would assist an off-duty Police officer in helping a wheelchair user in need.

The Police Officer recalled “…a wheelchair-man boarded. I noticed that he had no shoes on and one foot was bandaged. As the bus continued its route, I noticed that the wheelchair-bound man’s foot had begun to bleed onto the floor. I engaged with the man, who was clearly drunk, as I was concerned for his health. I then asked the bus driver , Mr Gharu, to stop at the Hillingdon Hospital stop, as I believed the man needed to go to hospital. When Mr Gharu got out from his seat to see what I was talking about, the man left a streak of blood on the floor, alarming us both. Mr Gharu then demonstrated a clear understanding of what he could do to help, making contact with his control to request an ambulance… I then decided to get some first aid supplies from the nearby hospital and was completely confident that I could leave the bleeding man under Mr Gharu’s supervision while I was away. Mr Gharu then demonstrated great problem-solving by contacting a colleague who spoke Polish to help facilitate communication with the man… London Ambulance Service attended and took over, after which I departed… He is extremely reliable and his composure in such an unexpected incident is something to be greatly proud of.”

Speaking about Mr Gharu, Garage Manager Stavros Heracleous said, “Very proud of David’s superb actions. A true gentleman who didn’t hesitate to intervene in this incident, which had a positive impact.”

Congratulations again to Mr Gharu and well done to the other nominees.



Putting the Me in Metroline

We love our drivers so much we’ll be featuring them on our new recruitment campaign, highlighting the benefits of working for Metroline!

Whether you are looking for a job that lets you save up for a house, has the flexibility to let you look after the kids, or just aren’t ready to retire yet, becoming a Bus Driver with Metroline can work for you.

You can earn up to £36,000 in your first year, work flexible shifts, take advantage of part-time and overtime opportunities, and gain access to range of benefits including free Bus and Tube travel for you and one other as well receiving access to the largest employee discount scheme in the world.

Find out more by checking out our Driver Recruitment Page here:

Upcoming February Recruitment Open Days announced!

Interested in driving for Metroline? We have a host of Recruitment open day events coming to several Bus Garages in February! This is a great opportunity to find out what it takes to be a London bus driver, and to ask our drivers and trainers what to expect.

Find out the dates at our Recruitment Open Days page here.

For Fast-Track progression, please have your Valid Passport, Valid UK driving licence and National insurance number available on the day.

Benefits of working at Metroline include:

  • Paid training to get your PCV licence worth over £6k
  • Salary starting from £13.88 per hour depending on your shift pattern and pro-rata for part time hours
  • Current PCV license holders could start on £17.22 per hour depending on experience
  • Company Pension
  • Free Bus and Tube travel for you and one other*
  • Health & Wellbeing Programme
  • Childcare Vouchers
  • Opportunities for overtime
  • Full time and part time opportunities available
  • Employee Benefit Scheme
  • 24 hour Employee support line
  • Cycle2Work scheme
  • Free Uniform
  • Company Sick Pay Scheme

* free travel pass is provided by TfL and is subject to terms and conditions