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Engaging transport for London’s staff for successful change

In the first major change to station operations in 25 years, Transport for London needed to upgrade its stations. Livework engaged frontline staff to co-create the future of customer service under the Fit for the Future Stations program. In addition to improving customer service, the programme also delivered significant cost savings and efficiencies.

How to move staff into new ways of working.

The way people use public transport keeps changing. As more people started paying using phones or cards, there was less need for ticket offices. Moving staff to the ticket hall to support customers there using new mobile and vending technologies made sense – making better use of staff and space and serving people better. For it to work, the transition would need to be handled well.

Engage staff and prototype to
ensure success.

First of all, we worked to understand customer needs and defined a new station model with customer service at the core. Then we facilitated an engaging and creative approach to working with staff through this transition.

A core team of 22 station staff from across London were trained to facilitate design workshops where teams collaboratively designed and prototyped aspects of the new station operating model. The operations in question included; supporting purchase at ticket vending machines (TVRs) advising customers and delivering on the principle of being visible and available to customers.

A high performing service – at launch.



In addition to radically improving the way London Underground delivers customer service, the programme also delivered significant cost savings and efficiencies. Transport for London successfully closed 286 ticket offices and installed 150 new ticket vending machines. This was achieved without people feeling sidelined. The highly engaged workforce continues to provide assistance, support and a feeling of security to travellers on the London Underground, continuing to adapt to changing needs and technology.

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Ben Reason Founding Partner

I am a founding partner of Livework having set-up the company in 2001. My focus on keeping Livework at the forefront of service design practice and ensuring we continue to create value for our clients.

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