Exclusive behind the scenes with Joe Khan!

Published: 14th December 2023

Meet Joe, our Operations Manager at our Birmingham Central Garage

Joe's faves!

Favourite seat on a bus? Nearside rear on the lower saloon

Double deck or single deck? Double decker

Favourite feature on a bus? Scanners for ticketing (Speedier journeys)

Favourite bus route? Route 8 (inner circle), this was my first route as a driver.

Tell us about yourself

I am a proud Father of five children with the eldest 27 years old and the youngest 6 years. I'm also a grandfather. I am also a keen snooker player, playing as often as I can.

How long have you worked for National Express?

In total 24 years after taking out a 18 month break. I started off as a driver at Hockley garage, then progressed to an inspector, a route manager and then assistant operations manager. I was lucky enough to work across most of the Black Country and South Birmingham garages before spending a whole year in Coventry as an acting operations manager. I was also part of the senior leadership team for the Bahrain bus project and took a position of operations manager for four years and helped to mobilise the entire project from its infancy. 

What made you want to work at National Express?

The whole atmosphere and acceptance from the initial start to right now by the people that I have worked with. National Express is my second home and I would not want to leave it for anything.

What's the best thing about your role?

Working with my teams and celebrating successes.

What does an average day look like for you?

Every day can be different, but aside from the planned meetings with management and other stakeholders, I am keen to see off the run out in the mornings and support the teams in ensuring that we do this on a consistent basis so everything runs as smoothly as possible. I always keep my door open for anyone who wants to check in for 1-1 meetings and discuss anything that's on their mind. I also have daily catch ups with my engineering teams and unions to make sure everyone is on the same page and everything is running smoothly. Where possible I try to stay over in the evenings and engage with the late shifts and our contractors.

What's been your biggest achievement since working at National Express?

It would have to be finishing the Bahrain bus project with no delays.

What does bus travel mean to you?

I get a sense of joy and freedom as not only am I making a difference on the carbon footprint but also able to meet colleagues on the travels and interact with them.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I try to spend as much time as possible with the kids and the family. Then whatever spare time I have left over I study comparative religions and history. I am also a keen snooker player during the snooker seasons, which is also a big part of the garage culture.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

It has to be Mohammed Ali, the boxer for his discipline and charisma.

Keep your eyes peeled for more behind the scenes interviews coming very soon. 

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