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.