Buslines Group

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Buslines Group
Buslines Group Logo.png
ParentFrank D'Apuzzo
Peter Simpson
Commenced operation1926
Service areaNew South Wales
Service typeBus Services - Town Runs, School Runs and Charter
Routes93 (September 2017)
Fleet370 (February, 2018 )
OperatorBallina Buslines
Bathurst Buslines
Berrima Buslines
Dubbo Buslines
Forster Buslines
Griffith Buslines
Lithgow Buslines
Northern Rivers Buslines
Orange Buslines
Picton Buslines
Tamworth Buslines
Wingham Buslines

The Buslines Group is an Australian bus operator in New South Wales and is the third largest private bus operator in New South Wales.


The John A Gilbert group was founded in 1926 as Reo Motors in 1926, being renamed in 1951.[1] It operated various bus operations in New South Wales. In 1943, it purchased its Tamworth business. This was followed in 1946 by Berrima and Orange. Further purchases were made in Bathurst and Dubbo with all operating under the Buslines of Australia brand. The Bathurst business was sold in 1977.[2][3]

In November 1988, the Lismore based business of Kirklands Omnibus Services was purchased taking the fleet to 250 vehicles.[4] In October 1992 Sydney operator Shorelink was purchased[5] being sold in March 1996.[6]

In March 1996, John A Gilbert sold their remaining bus operations to Frank D'Apuzzo and Peter Simpson.[7][8] In March 2000 Picton Omnibus Service was purchased.[3]

From 2004 the Buslines brand was rolled out across all operations. In June 2006, Ritchies Bus Service, Griffith was purchased, followed by Perrett's Coach Service, Werris Creek in April 2008 and Selwood Coaches, Orange in December 2009, these latter two being integrated into the Tamworth, Orange and Dubbo operations.[3]

In April 2012, the business of Jones Brothers, Lithgow and Bathurst was purchased, the latter having previously been part of the group until sold in 1977.[3][9]

John A Gilbert also operated a bus dealership in Guildford and previously owned Holden car dealerships in Parramatta and Waitara.[8]

In October 2015, the Forster Bus Service and Wingham Coaches businesses were purchased, acquiring 41 buses.[citation needed]

Current Subsidiaries[edit]

Tamworth Buslines[edit]

The Tamworth business was acquired in 1943. Tamworth was the first depot to be operated by John A Gilbert, and the starting ground for bus operations. On 14 April 2008, Perrett's Coach Service was purchased taking over 12 vehicles, school runs from Quirindi - Werris Creek - Tamworth and Route 428, Quirindi - Tamworth / Quirindi Town Service. Buslines also acquired the old Perrett's shed on the southern end of Henry Street in Quirindi.

Orange Buslines[edit]

In 1946, the business was purchased from John Foley with eight buses, with Foley's Bus Service purchasing Route 32 Kogarah station to Ramsgate in return.[10]

Ballina Buslines / Northern Rivers Buslines[edit]

In 1939, Clarrie and Jim Kirkland purchased two bus runs in Evans Head.[11] Trading as Kirkland Bros, further operations would be purchased in the Northern Rivers region. In January 1970, the business of New England Motor Company which operated long distance services from Lismore to Brisbane, Tenterfield and Grafton. By this stage, the fleet stood at 45.[4][12][13]

In November 1974, a service commenced from Ballina to Sydney.[14] It was later extended to Brisbane. In 1986, the business was sold to Waugh & Josephson which in turn was sold to Bond Corporation in 1987. Kirkland Bros was sold to John A Gilbert in 1988. As at August 1989, the fleet comprised 111 buses and coaches.[4]

In June 1996, the Brisbane to Sydney services were sold to Premier Motor Service[15] who in April 2008, also purchased the Lismore to Brisbane service.[16] In the 2000s, the Kirklands name was dropped with the business split into Ballina Buslines and Northern Rivers Buslines.

Forster Buslines[edit]

The Forster business was purchased on 1 October 2015, from Forster Bus Service, owned by the Deane family.

Wingham Buslines[edit]

The Wingham business was purchased on 1 October 2015, from Wingham Coaches, owned by the Deane family.

Bathurst Buslines[edit]

The Bathurst business was purchased on 2 April 2012 from Jones Bros. Bus Co. The business had previously been owned by John A Gilbert in the mid 20th century, but sold on to Bathurst Coaches in 1977.

Lithgow Buslines[edit]

The Lithgow business was purchased on 2 April 2012 from Jones Bros. Bus Co.

Griffith Buslines[edit]

The Griffith business was purchased on 1 October 2006 from Ritchies Bus Service. Buslines also operates all the Griffith taxi services from the Griffith depot.

Dubbo Buslines[edit]

The Dubbo business was purchased on 20 December 2009 from KL & DJ Selwood, acquiring 10 vehicles. Buslines had previously operated taxi services in Dubbo since the early 2000s.

Picton Buslines[edit]

The Picton business was purchased on 29 March 2000 from George Lee (Picton Omnibus Service) acquiring 23 vehicles.

Berrima Buslines[edit]

The Berrima business is the depot with the highest quantity of buses.



December 2015: Fleet consisted of 308 buses.[3] May 2016: Fleet consisted of 345 buses. September 2017: Fleet consisted of 350 buses.


Up until the mid-1980s the John A Gilbert fleet were painted white and black. This was then replaced by a white background, and 3 blue stripes going from dark to light. This was then simplified when Buslines Group took over to a single dark blue stripe on a white background.


Current focus for purchases made by Buslines Group are Bustech bodies (SBV, SBM, VST) with a MAN Chassis.


  1. ^ Advertisement Sydney Morning Herald 5 September 1951 page 5
  2. ^ About Us Archived 2 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Buslines Group
  3. ^ a b c d e Buslines Group Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  4. ^ a b c "50 years of Kirkland Brothers" Fleetline issue 175 February 1990 pages 19-24
  5. ^ "Shorelink" Australian Bus Panorama issue 8/5 February 1993 page 45
  6. ^ About Veolia Transdev Transdev
  7. ^ "Major Bus Fleet Sale" Australian Bus Panorama issue 11/9 June 1996 page 28
  8. ^ a b The Bard's mystery benefactor Sydney Morning Herald 11 May 2009
  9. ^ Last stop for pioneering Jones Brothers Western Advocate 19 March 2012
  10. ^ "Operators of Renown…Foley's Bus Service, Kogarah" Australian Bus issue 55 January 2013 page 10
  11. ^ In the beginning Kirklands Buses
  12. ^ New England Motor Company Limited Kirkland Buses
  13. ^ Kirkland Buses continued Kirklands Buses
  14. ^ Kirkland Buses continued Kirklands Buses
  15. ^ "Nowra Coaches" Australian Bus Panorama issue 12/1 August 1996 page 54
  16. ^ Kings Kirklands Takeover Opens Routes Australasian Bus & Coach 6 March 2008

External links[edit]