Diversity, Events

Omnibus Project: Q3 2019 results

In April 2017, we launched our diversity initiative, the Omnibus Project, to promote diversity at Busbud and beyond. Every quarter, our team carries out up to 5 actions to help foster diversity and reports publicly on our progress. This quarter, we have expanded the scope of the projects to include sustainability initiatives, which is one of our core values at Busbud. 

We are thrilled to share the results for Q3 2019, ending September 30th. Here are our actions:

1) Improve awareness for Busbud team of eco-friendly and “less-waste” services in Montreal

Waste production by the global population has reached alarming levels and we are beginning to live the consequences. Luckily, the city of Montreal is home to numerous initiatives to reduce waste in our everyday lives. These initiatives are raising awareness of waste production in the community, initiatives such as the boom of zero-waste grocery stores or take-out restaurants now accepting that we take our containers instead of using disposable plastic boxes and bags. 

Montreal’s community is a pioneering of this revolution and we want to be part of it! This last quarter, we’ve put together many initiatives of our own to raise awareness on waste production and encourage Busbud members’ use of eco-friendly and zero-waste services in Montreal. Take a look at what we achieved throughout the quarter: 

  • We had a presentation from a zero-waste specialist in the office; 
  • We made a partnership with a local online zero-waste store, which will offer free eco-friendly shipping for both our office orders and personal orders;
  • We created an internal, collaborative guide with an interactive map including “BYOC” (bring-your-own-container) restaurants around the office so that everyone in the office can have their to-go lunch in a responsible manner. For grocery stores and other eco-friendly services, Circuit Zero Déchet already has a great map;
  • We now have glass and reusable plastic containers available for everyone in the office, so that we can take them to the “BYOC” restaurants in the area.
Map created by the Busbud team to easily find “BYOC” (bring-your-own-container) restaurants around the office.
Containers for Busbud employees to use when going out for lunch.

2) Improve information and options on our website for people with disabilities (wheel-chair accessibility on buses)

Passengers with disabilities face many mobility challenges. At Busbud, we provide the ability for passengers traveling with certain carriers to book their bus tickets while including their wheelchair or mobility aid in their booking. However, the number of carriers that support these bookings via API is only a very small minority of the actual number of carriers we partner with.

Our initial goal with this project was to revamp the information contained on our website for carriers and routes that support wheelchair-accessible travel, with the specific terms and conditions required for each. Initially, we wanted to do this via messages visible on operator and route landing pages. We encountered a couple of obstacles with this initial goal, primarily that some carriers have somewhat long and complex ways of formatting this information and that we did not have sufficient bandwidth within the scope of this project to tackle a product feature of this size. We also had the concern of ensuring we retain proper compliance with complex legislation such as ADA in the United States, which has been an area Busbud has committed to in the past.

In order to provide as much information as possible to our customers, we began to compile information from our largest carriers on their traveling with disability policies. We decided to publish and or update 31 articles on our Support Help Desk (see links below) with this up-to-date information. The content added will help people travelers with mobility issues travel on intercity buses with information such as advance notice periods they must respect or phone numbers they must call prior to their departure. With this additional information, users only need to do a quick search on our Support Help Desk to find all the necessary information for their chosen operator.

Examples of new articles:

New Help Desk article with up-to-date information on traveling with disabilities on Greyhound US.

3) Planting trees on Mont Royal

In October 2019, Busbud team members participated in a volunteering activity that aims to support the biodiversity of Mount Royal. During the activity, organized by Les amis de la montagne, we had the opportunity to plant native trees in order to prevent the regrowth of invasive species and to reforest certain trails. There are many environmental benefits of planting trees and we were happy to help restore quality of life quality in our community and to contribute to the environment and help fight climate change.