“My passengers are family” says Ahmed Serhani.
“I aim to treat all of my passengers as though they are family,” says Route 214 driver Ahmed Serhani who was recently nominated by Metroline for the London Bus Award of ‘Outstanding Customer Service.’ Ahmed loves his role as a London bus driver and must be one of the capital’s most commended drivers, receiving 9 so far in 2017, over 20 in 2016, 17 in 2015 and 15 in 2014.
“Ahmed has a unique rapport with his passengers who genuinely love to see him behind the wheel. From his friendly welcome comments when we swipe our oyster cards through to the traffic information or location updates he delivers throughout the journey. Everything is always presented with real wit and insight and never too often so that it becomes distracting. He really is the perfect bus driver and I have seen many a passenger break out in a broad smile on the bleakest rainy Monday morning because of his personality," recalls one passenger in a recent commendation.
In March this year, another passenger wrote to Metroline saying, “I feel I must highlight an extraordinary driver…this gentleman is the most friendly, welcoming and considerate driver I have ever come across. He welcomes every passenger on his bus and so obviously cares. The whole bus was smiling.”
Ahmed’s cheerful disposition made him the natural choice as the Kings Cross Garage ‘Hello London Champion’ and his manager, colleagues and passengers alike would argue that he is the embodiment of TfL’s ‘Hello London’ campaign. He always welcomes every passenger, every journey and is an ambassador of service excellence, “No matter how tough it is out on the road with all the obstacles and daily challenges, he never complains and always remains cheerful,” reflects Operations Manager Stuart McManus. Holloway and Kings Cross Garage Manager Fola Olawo-Jerome says, “He is proud to be a London Bus Driver, loves every aspect of his job and is passionate about ensuring our customers receive the best possible service. The feedback we receive from our customers that travel on any route that he drives proves this without doubt.” Feedback such as,” I’ve never come across such a friendly bus driver, not least during peak rush hour when the bus is very full. The driver greeted everyone getting on the bus including a young girl with her mother and he reminded another man which stop he should get off. All in all, he was so pleasant and it was such a nice change…making my morning commute a little brighter.”
Recently Ahmed found some lost property on his bus which consisted of personal travel documents and passports. He immediately jumped on his bike at the end of his shift and cycled all the way across London to reunite the missing property with the rightful owner who was relived and delighted. All in a day’s work for Ahmed.
“I was travelling home from Kentish Town and was welcomed on board by this beaming smile. I noticed this genuine and warm greeting was extended to other customers as well. In my experience, it is rare to find a driver who passionately performs his job and also raises the mood of the commuters,” reads another commendation, and it’s this consistent commitment to exceptional customer care that earned Ahmed a special citation from Metroline’s CEO Jaspal Singh in 2016. In 2007 Ahmed was the winner of the Customer Service award at the UK Bus Awards which recognised his outstanding attitude, safe driving and his desire to always put the customer at the heart of everything he does. “We are really very proud of this special person,” says his Line Manager Stuart, “and wish him well for this well-deserved nomination.”
Meet Metroline’s 214 driver Ahmed Serhani, in this short video portrait produced by a passenger, Joe Bloom: