Xplore Dundee boss Elsie Turbyne is stepping down in April, after 36 years of service with the operator in various roles, including three as Managing Director. Born locally and a Dundee resident for the last 40 years, she has spent most of her working life in the public transport industry.
“I first joined the bus company, which was then owned by Tayside Regional Council, in an admin role in January 1982 and I gave it six weeks!” says Elsie. “36 years on I’ve had a great career with the company, last year I received my long service award for 35 years, and now as I’m approaching my 60th birthday I’ve decided this would be a good point to retire, and hand over the reins to someone else.”
With a background in finance and IT, Elsie progressed from her initial admin role into the Finance Department, and was the operator’s Finance Manager prior to taking up the post of Managing Director in March 2015.
During her time as part of the senior team, Elsie has overseen the company’s move into smart ticketing, at the forefront of a project which developed Scotland’s first smart travel bursary product available on the National Entitlement Card (NEC). This partnership between National Express Dundee (as it was then known), Dundee and Angus College and Dundee City Council made student bursary tickets available as smart products on their matriculation/NEC cards in 2013.
The bus operator has developed its own smartcard, MyXplore, and has this year introduced mTicketing, providing a range of discounted fares available for purchase through the NXBus mTicket app, which can then be downloaded onto customers’ smart phones.
Elsie said. “Another of the highlights of recent years has been rebranding the company from National Express Dundee to Xplore Dundee. We are proud of our place in National Express Group but it was great to develop a fresh outlook and to reclaim some of the spirit of exploration within our heritage.
“We really enjoyed working alongside the staff and students of Dundee and Angus College to create and develop the Xplore brand and I feel it’s given us a strong identity in this city and a vision for the future.”
At the close of her third year as Managing Director, Elsie will leave the company on 19th April, and says she is looking forward to working her way through her bucket list – beginning with a trip to Italy in May.
“I never imagined I’d pursue a career in this industry and certainly never expected to stay with the company for so long, but I’ve enjoyed my time with Tayside Regional Council and latterly National Express. The bus industry is interesting and challenging, and I hope I’ve helped to pave the way for more women to enter it, whether they’re behind the wheel or behind a desk – we need more female voices in transport.
“I will miss the people I work with; we have a great team here at Xplore Dundee and a real sense of camaraderie. I may be retiring but I’m looking forward to watching how the business and the industry continues to evolve. I want to wish everyone well - including our customers, who are at the heart of our business. Keep catching the bus! It’s the only thing that will ensure its future as a modern, accessible, environmentally-friendly way of travelling round our city and the rest of Scotland.”
Published 29th March 2018