The Big Interview: Leading London to a smarter future


The old military line goes ‘amateurs talk tactics but professionals study logistics’ – suggesting that transport is the most professional of all the sectors of course. It is something that comes to mind when talking to Shashi Verma (43).

Mr Verma is Transport for London’s (TfL) director of customer experience, responsible for its revenue collection system including contactless payments, the Oyster card - the largest smartcard based ticketing system in the world - advising the mayor of London on fares and ticketing policy and for running TfL’s customer service operations. After 12 years at the organisation Mr Verma is, in short, one of the masterminds behind one of the greatest transport networks in the world.

The next big addition to that network, Crossrail, might not have been possible without his brainchild – the business rates supplement that is helping pay for it.

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