Clean and safer bus travel during COVID-19

Which started with the implementation of quality audits, resulted in a large-scale renewal of the cleaning procedure as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). With Leviy, consultancy firm Alpheios and cleaning company Marcan ensure that the buses of Brussels public transport company STIB are disinfected day and night. Travellers in and around Brussels can be transported safely from A to B. This special cooperation during a crisis, in which each other's staff is deployed and trained, deserves a big applause! In order to share this special story, we entered into a remote discussion with those involved via Google Meet and asked about the hectic period starting in March this year.

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Commotion due to coronavirus

“The original question was to evaluate and improve the cleaning quality of STIB‘s buses, but the coronavirus has caused a great deal of commotion. The buses had to continue to run while the fear of COVID-19 grew every day. This resulted in extra cleaning per bus and a new way of working per depot,” says Kristel van Vaerenbergh (Alpheios). Kristel is a consultant at Alpheios and recently trained the employees of STIB and Marcan with Leviy. 

All buses entering the depot must be disinfected day and night. This applies to some 800-900 buses, divided over five depots. This still happens daily. As long as the coronavirus continues to spread, the cleaning of a public transport vehicle is very important. “You can imagine that this was a huge reorganisation in the beginning. With the help of cleaning company Marcan and Leviy, we managed to draw up a new procedure for the buses in Belgium” adds Kristel. Extra personnel have been deployed and trained, both from Marcan and from STIB itself, Els Naegels (Marcan) says. “We are also training STIB employees for the new work process. This is, of course, a special situation in which not only other people’s personnel are deployed, but also trained. 

Different from normal

It all started with writing down data on paper. Cleaning staff had the task of writing down the actions they had carried out by bus on a notepad. It is important to know exactly which bus has been cleaned and which has not (yet). The tasks were noted down by a shift manager in an Excel document at night and handed over to Kristel in the morning to generate results for the customer. Kristel: ‘This took about two to three hours for the five depots. We thought, this can’t be done this way any longer, why don’t we process this in Leviy? 

“We immediately switched to Leviy and went to see how we could make this happen. Then we started training the staff. We did this per depot, so that we could keep an overview and improve ourselves along the way. It was a big challenge, with trial and error, but I am very proud and happy with what has been achieved!

Daily and periodic tasks

The big difference between a building and a bus is of course the standstill and movement between the two. A building in which a room needs to be cleaned is easy to clean once or several times a day. A bus has a high frequency, about three to four times a day, and is hampered by its constant movement. Els: “In order to be able to guarantee this properly, we started working with labels. These labels indicate how many times the bus has been cleaned and which tasks have not (yet) been carried out. It sometimes happens that a bus has a short stopover, in which not all tasks can be fulfilled. The tasks that are carried out, such as cleaning the driver’s cabin and the points of contact, ensure that the bus has been disinfected and people can be transported safely. When there is more time, more tasks can be carried out. Up to three tasks of short duration and one task of long duration can be specified. A task of long duration is usually carried out at night, when shifts have more time than during the day. These are called ‘daily tasks‘ because they are repeated daily.

Els: “The periodic tasks are the larger tasks. These are, for example, the walls, the ceilings and the windows. The tricky thing about these tasks is that we don’t really know how much time there is to carry them out. In Leviy we can see whether it has been followed up or not”. “We can then reintroduce the tasks that were not achieved during the planning. We are also looking at how we can do this in such an efficient way” adds Els. 

The first steps during the training of cleaners

Kristel: “Training employees was one of my tasks. In a large hall, at a distance of course, the cleaners were taught the first work procedure in which the operation of the periodic tasks and labels were explained. After the training, we went onto the work floor and carried out the tasks in the buses. This way, I was able to help and answer questions immediately. This worked perfectly for me as well as for the employees. Within a day, the cleaning staff had mastered it. Leviy is simple and easy, for everyone, at every level. You notice that working with the App gives an extra dimension to their important work. The job satisfaction is doubled”.

“Leviy is simple and easy, for everyone, at every level”

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Leviy, Marcan & Alpheios working in progress

Partnership between Alpheios, Marcan, STIB and Leviy

The collaboration between the four parties is progressing smoothly. This can be seen from the enthusiasm over the past period. A working procedure has been drawn up together with Marcan and Alpheios and cleaning staff from STIB and Marcan are working together. A manual has been created in which you can find out how Leviy works and has been added to the work process. “This was not a one man show, we did this together” says Els. 

“The work pleasure has been doubled”

Proud and new technology

To the question of what Leviy has actually delivered, Kristel answers very firmly: The cleaning staff feel proud and know that they have a new technology in their hands. One of the most important results for me is that employees enjoy their work and feel proud of the work they do. In addition, everyone is saving time. From two to three hours a day of manual data entry to a dashboard full of analyses. “That saves a lot of work,” says Kristel. 

“Everything is digital and we do not do anything on paper anymore. This matches our vision as a cleaning company, in which we choose ecological products, among other things” says Els. “Previously there was a lot of paper waste, now that’s a thing of the past with the use of a mobile App and an online Dashboard”.

“The cleaning staff feel proud and know they have a new technology in their hands”

Making Leviy part of our work process

After a successful period, Kristel sees a bright future with Leviy. “We see so many possibilities with Leviy which is why we have made a prioritisation of what we want to tackle first. We want to avoid running before we can walk. The first item on the agenda is the introduction of the work procedures in the Files module. We are also going to make videos showing how to clean up, and put them in the same environment so that everyone can do so. At the moment we are also already working on applying QR codes to the buses, so that employees no longer have to search, but can scan them directly. The first orders are also currently being entered using the Forms module, and here too we are making sure that this is started up in phases. Secondly, we are going to use the Issue Management module to report what needs improving. We plan to give a bus brigadier access to part of Leviy, so that they too can see whether the bus has been cleaned. Convenient, because this way the employee does not have to check with a shift manager every time whether the bus is ready for a new round”.

We wish Kristel and Els a lot of success with the further implementation and supervision of Leviy at the STIB depots around Brussels!

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