Finding our roots
Some people are born into the bus industry while others just stumble upon it almost by accident, writes RandallJohnston
It’s always quite interesting talking to Australian operators about how they came to be operators in the first place. Some are from families that have been in the industry for three or even four generations, others were simply offered the opportunity to buy a bus business without really knowing what they were getting themselves into.
In the case of Darren Calow of Calow’s Coaches, it’s the latter. He had no exposure to the industry whatsoever until his new neighbour offered to sell him his bus service in north- east Tasmania – more or less out of the blue. Fast forward 15 years and he now has 30 vehicles, two depots, almost 30 drivers and a small team of administrative staff.
He had previously worked in a wide range of industries and says the camaraderie and friendly nature of most other operators he has met since is beyond belief.
Callow loves being a part of the Tasmanian bus industry and says the co- operation between ‘rival’ bus companies is “unreal” – he even won Achiever of the Year Award in recognition of his contribution to the industry courtesy of TasBus a few years back.
“We all work well together and give each other work and that’s something that you don’t see often in a lot of other industries,” he says.
He took over Bicheno Coaches a few years back and is in the process of expanding his fleet in 2017.
You can read more about Darren and his well- patronised patch of paradise in Tassie on page 34.
There’s plenty more going on in November. The South Australian Government announced it will invest $ 300 million over the next 10 years for 400 new buses to service the Adelaide Metro network ( p17).
SkyBus has launched a new direct service connecting passengers in Southbank and Docklands to Melbourne Airport, adding to its ever-growing list of services ( p16).
We bring you continued coverage from the 2017 Australasia Bus and Coach Expo, as Technical Writer Paul Aldridge explores the products that got his attention at the event ( p20).
ABC also got the scoop on what Australian bus and coach body builders are up to in November 2017 and what they are working towards delivering next year ( p24).
Meanwhile, Bundaberg Coaches director Jason Beresford has taken delivery of a new Denning
“It’s been a while since we reviewed a Denning so we thought we would take one for a spin”
high- deck coach. It’s been a while since we reviewed a Denning so we thought we would take it for a spin and we came away impressed ( p38).
Don’t forget to flick to the back of this mag to check out the latest Australian bus and coach delivery information and see who’s buying what as we approach the end of a huge 2017.