Cleaning up our act

PUBLISHED ON 07/02/2017
Cleaning up our act


What do you do when your employees’ offices are covered in graffiti? You get in there and clean them up.

‘I wouldn’t be happy working in an environment like that, so I can understand that it has a big impact on the morale of our drivers,’ said Transdev Melbourne’s Managing Director, Harry Wijers.

For this reason, together with Area Manager West, Shaun Lawson, who has been tasked with finding workable solutions to the business’ significant graffiti problem, Harry made the call to hold a graffiti blitz at TDM’s new Sunshine West depot.

Subsequently an invitation was sent out to the executive, operations and head office staff to come along and work towards making a significant dent in the damage.

‘I wanted to show the drivers that we understand the graffiti is ugly and demoralising and that we are prepared to do something about it,’ Harry said.

‘It had to be a Sunday — to make it work we needed to get as many defaced buses in the one place as possible and during the rest of the week most of them have to be on the road.’

‘I knew it was a big ask for people to give up part of their weekend, but in the end I believe it was worth it — we managed to clean 35 buses and paint 11.’

Harry was joined on the day by 20 others including General Manager Operations, Emilie van de Graaff, General Manager Customers, Stakeholders and Marketing, Greg McGann and TDA Chief Operating, Officer Peter Lodge.

Teams of two were allocated graffiti wipes, solvent spray and rags or paint rollers. Moving methodically through the buses, a triage process was developed and once a bus was judged beyond cleaning it was tagged to be painted.

‘It was hard work,’ said Harry, ‘and as frustrating as it was satisfying.’

‘The older the graffiti, the harder it is to remove,’ he said. ‘There are also so many different types of surfaces — and they all responded differently to cleaning so there was a fair bit of trial and error.


TDM is going to crack down on graffiti across its fleet this year and the clean-up day was the first of a number of planned initiatives which include a better equipped mobile response team and an app that identifies the tags of repeat offenders.

‘It was fantastic to see how much pride staff from all levels of the business, take in the fleet,’ said Shawn Lawson.

‘After such a successful first event, we are definitely looking at running similar days at other depots and with what we learned from the first event, we will be able to work smarter and faster next time,’ he said.

‘I am confident that this will have a flow on effect to the travelling public and plenty of positive feedback from our drivers shows that they appreciate our efforts,’ said Harry


CAPTION: Area Manager West, Shaun Lawson Fleet Manager Ian Kerfoot-Davies & Manager Special Projects, Service Delivery David Nott were part of the painting team.

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