All hap­pen­ing in Fe­bru­ary

“There is in­creas­ing de­mand for pri­vate school bus ser­vices to be tracked via GPS” Pas­sen­ger trans­port is chang­ing rapidly and bus op­er­a­tors must move with the times in or­der to en­sure suc­cess, writes Ran­dall John­ston

ABC (Australia) - - AT THE HELM -

You don’t have to be Ein­stein to see that the bus and coach in­dus­try is evolv­ing at a fast pace. What bus and coach busi­nesses will be do­ing dif­fer­ently 10 years from now is any­one’s guess, but you can be sure that those who stub­bornly cling to do­ing things the way that they used to be done will have a hard time of it.

Uber, au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles, on­de­mand trans­port – the list goes on. While no one can be 100 per cent sure how this will all play out, there can be no deny­ing the fact that con­sumer habits are chang­ing and that peo­ple are not go­ing to wait for your route bus ser­vice to reach or sud­denly be­come a more at­tac­tive op­tion for them. The same goes for school and char­ter work.

There is in­creas­ing de­mand among pri­vate schools for their school bus ser­vices to be tracked via GPS in real-time and for par­ents to be able to see where their chil­dren are at all times and plan their pick-ups ac­cord­ingly. While this is more about safety than any­thing, it does show that what was con­sid­er­ered an ac­cept­able level of ser­vice ve years ago no longer cuts the mustard.

We have a cracker of an is­sue for you this month – fea­tur­ing a mod­ern new de­sign and lay­out, and the pace at which things are mov­ing in the bus in­dus­try in 2017 has to be seen to be be­lieved!

BCI is cel­e­brat­ing its 25th an­niver­sary in style with a dou­ble-decker that will no doubt be a strong com­peti­tor in an ex­pand­ing Aus­tralasian mar­ket. While dou­ble-deck­ers are not suit­able in many op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ments, they are ideal for oth­ers. Ar­tic­u­lated buses are surely the way to go where you have a large num­ber of pas­sen­gers need­ing to get on an off at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals.

But for ex­press air­port ser­vices and the like, the high-ris­ers can be the per­fect soul­tion (p.36).

With bus re preven­tion on ev­ery­one’s lips at the mo­ment, the in­dus­try is in­creas­ingly turn­ing to tech­nol­ogy. We speak to LSM Tech­nolo­gies busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ager Brendan Vil­liers, who is see­ing more op­er­a­tors take up tyre mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems (p.42).

Bus op­er­a­tions tend to be fam­ily busi­nesses but usu­ally the big­ger they get, the less fam­ily-ori­ented they be­come. Not so in the case Bris­bane Bus Lines (BBL). We speak to BBL’s Ian Mitchell about the ins and outs of run­ning one of Bris­bane’s big­gest op­er­a­tions and the chal­lenges faced by op­er­a­tors in Queens­land’s cap­i­tal city (p.30).

So strap your­self in as we step into the wild un­known!

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