Raja Mahmood

Joined Stagecoach in: 1999

Role: Assistant Area Network Controller

Location: West Ham

What attracted you to a career as a bus driver?
I used to get on the route 5 bus on my way to and from work when I was a security guard at Barking Station. I was 18/19 at the time and would sit on the bus and think to myself, “I could drive one of these!” I saw the advert on the bus and applied.

Why did you choose Stagecoach London?
I remember seeing the red Stagecoach buses everywhere in the local area when I was younger and I always used them to get about, so it seemed only natural to apply for a job with them after seeing an advert.

What the best thing about your job?
The best thing about the job is the customer interaction. There are a large variety of routes at the garages, so you drive in different areas and meet different people every day. Whether they are in a good or bad mood, you have to be friendly and professional towards them all. I’m a firm believer that you only get out what you put in with this job.

What has surprised you most about working here for Stagecoach London?
I didn’t expect to have the opportunities that I’ve had since coming into the industry. I’ve always had a very positive mindset which has opened up opportunities for me, such as becoming a driver mentor, night bus driver, Acting Garage Supervisor, Bus Station Dispatcher and my current role as an Assistant Area Network Controller.

What are your top three tips that you’d give to anyone thinking of applying to be a bus driver at Stagecoach London?

  • Take everything about the job into consideration, also think about your personal life also and make sure that you will be getting enough rest and sleep to deal with the shift work.
  • Ensure that you are able to be flexible: you may be scheduled to finish at a certain time, but sometimes different factors can prevent this.
  • Take care of yourself and maintain high standards when it comes to your appearance and hygiene. Be mindful of your colleagues taking over from you who will need to sit in the cab of the bus.
  • To have patience, a good mind set and a positive attitude is the only way forward in an industry like this. Take every day as it comes and you will get more out of the job.

Did you think of doing a different job before you joined us?
I was working in Barking Station as a security guard, doing 12 hour shifts. I wasn’t really looking for a new job but always thought about it whilst I was travelling on the bus.