Driver Group

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Driverbus.png
Eastrans number 89 (8089AO) Denning in St Kilda, 2013 (1).JPG
Former Driver Group Denning Manufacturing bus now with Eastrans in September 2013
Founded March 1931
Headquarters Mount Waverley
Service area Melbourne
Service type Bus & coach operator
Fleet 98 (October 2014)
Website www.drivergroup.com.au

Driver Group is a bus and coach operator in Melbourne, Australia. In July 2013 the five bus routes it operated were sold to ComfortDelGro Cabcharge.

History[edit]

Driver Brothers was formed in March 1931, when Eric and Reg Driver built two 7 seat Pontiacs and began operating a service from Glen Iris railway station to Camberwell. In the 1960s the route was extended to the new Chadstone Shopping Centre. In 1962 the operation was renamed Driver Bus Lines and at the end of the decade Eric's two sons, Daryl and Gary, joined the business.[1][2]

In 1970, Driver Bus Lines diversified into the coach market and in January 1978 purchased the Camberwell to Box Hill service from RW Curren. In 1986 Shave Bus Service was purchased and renamed Waverley Transit.[1][3]

In May 1989, the Pioneer Tours Melbourne day sightseeing business was purchased from Pioneer Trailways.[4] In February 1991 Driver Bus Lines was awarded the Gray Line franchise for Melbourne and renamed its sightseeing operation Pioneer Gray Line. In October 1992 the Great Sights sightseeing brand was launched and Melbright Coaches purchased.[1]

In June 1994 Sydney tour operator Great Sights South Pacific was purchased. In July 1996 Driver Bus Lines was renamed Driver Group. In December 1996 Clipper Tours, the Sydney operator of the Gray Line franchise, was purchased.[5][6] After the Gray Line part of the business was separated, Clipper Tours was resold to Ron Deane in February 1998.[1][7][8]

Over the next decade Driver Group would gradually buy the Gray Line Australia franchises in all other capital cities. In October 2010 Mornington Peninsula operators Balnarring Bus Lines, Coolart Bus & Coach, Mawson's Coaches and Old Tyabb Coaches were purchased adding 29 buses to the fleet.[1]

Driver Group today operates charters originating in Melbourne and operating to destinations around the country, Great Sights day tours in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide and Gray Line Australia day tours in Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Adelaide, Darwin, Alice Springs and Tasmania.

In July 2013, the route service business was sold to ComfortDelGro Cabcharge with five routes and 42 buses.[9][10][11] In November 2013 the operation of Gray Line services in Sydney was sub-licenced to Australia Wide Coaches.[12]

Brands[edit]

Brands operated by Driver Group include:

Brands previously used by Driver Group include:

  • Driver Brothers
  • Driver Coaches
  • Clipper Tours
  • Gray Line Melbourne
  • Gray Line Sydney
  • Great Sights South Pacific
  • Melbourne Explorer
  • Pioneer Gray Line
  • Pioneer Tours
  • Southern Sights
  • Waverley Transit

Brands or companies acquired by Driver Group include:

  • Curran's
  • Shave Bus Service

Fleet[edit]

As at October 2014, Driver Group operated 98 buses and coaches.[13] Driver's fleet livery has long been white and blue. Gray Line coaches are painted white, red and blue.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e About Us Driver Group
  2. ^ Melbourne Metropolitan Bus Operators and Fleet Listings. Melbourne: Bus & Coach Society of Victoria. 1991. p. 15. 
  3. ^ "Victorian Buses in the Eighties" Australian Bus Panorama 6/6 February 1991 page 9
  4. ^ "Driver Bus Lines" Australian Bus Panorama 5/1 July 1989 page 35
  5. ^ "Private Operators" Fleetline January 1997 page 29
  6. ^ "Driver Bus Lines" Australian Bus Panorama 12/4 February 1997 page 47
  7. ^ "Clipper Tours" Australian Bus Panorama 13/6 June 1998 page 45
  8. ^ "Clipper Tours" Fleetline January 1999 page 27
  9. ^ ComfortDelGro Expands Melbourne Operations Through A$22.0 Million Acquisition ComfortDelGro 20 May 2013
  10. ^ Acquisition of further Bus Route Service Business in Melbourne Cabcharge 20 May 2013
  11. ^ Updates and News CDC Victoria
  12. ^ AWC appointed licencee for Gray Line & Great Sights Sydney Australia Wide Coaches 21 November 2013
  13. ^ Driver Bus Lines Australian Bus Fleet Lists

External links[edit]