Over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be taking a look behind-the-scenes at Lothian to meet some of the people who keep Edinburgh and the Lothians moving 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The people you’ll meet in this series are just some of the individuals who together form Team Lothian, and make our company what it is. We Are Lothian.
Name: Stevie Chambers
Job Title: Commercial Projects Manager
Describe your role at Lothian in one sentence
I’m responsible for managing all of our fare and revenue collection systems and ticketing products – basically all of the ways customers can pay us!
How long have you worked for Lothian?
I’ve been on the books at Lothian since 2001, so this is my 20th year of service. I started as a part-time ticket seller for what was then just City Sightseeing to pay the bills while I was a studying for a degree in accountancy and finance. After graduating in 2006, I wasn’t yet ready to leave the buses – instead I became a desk supervisor at Waverley Bridge. I moved to Head Office in 2010 where I became involved in ticketing, and then spent 6 months on secondment at Transport Scotland in Glasgow, before I returned to the commercial team and what would become my current role.
“Working for Lothian means going above and beyond to help when it is needed. It can be summed up pretty easily – ‘Nae bother pal’.”
Favourite part of your job?
Being able to introduce something new from scratch, and having responsibility for it throughout the entire end-to-end process, can be daunting but is extremely rewarding. People in similar roles elsewhere will usually only have responsibility for one aspect of a project, but Lothian’s lean structure means that I get to be involved in the whole life-cycle – from building an idea and a business case, to working with a supplier to develop it before finally deploying and ultimately being able to use it to pay for a bus journey.
Most memorable moment?
I once had to write to a customer to explain why they couldn’t have the chip from their Ridacard surgically implanted into their hand, to stop them forgetting it in the morning!
The last year has been difficult for everyone due to the ongoing pandemic. What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had in your current role at Lothian?
I work in the commercial team, so the driving focus behind everything we do is to increase our passengers, and generate revenue which can be reinvested in our business. Those objectives have had to take a back seat while we maintain critical services for essential travel only, and the associated uncertainty has made it difficult to plan how to take current and future projects forward.
The road through to recovery is going to require a serious team effort from everyone at Lothian however, and like all of us, I’m looking forward to getting in about it.
What’s a common misconception about your job?
People assume we are a large team, given all of the different commercial, legal and technical aspects we have to manage for our ticketing systems. We don’t – there’s two of us!
Finally, what does working for Lothian mean to you?
It means going above and beyond to help when it is needed, and knowing your colleagues will be there to do the same for you, as we all do, every day, to keep the city moving.
It can be summed up pretty easily – “Nae bother pal”.