ComfortDelGro Australia

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ComfortDelGro Australian logo.png
Hillsbus (mo 9834) Volgren 'CR228L' bodied Scania K280UB 14-5m at Castle Hill Interchange.jpg
Hillsbus Volgren bodied Scania K280UB at Castle Hill bus interchange in July 2013
ParentComfortDelGro
Founded2005
Service areaHills District
Hunter Region
Blue Mountains
Central Coast
Melbourne
Geelong
Ballarat
Canberra
Queanbeyan
Yass
Service typeBus services
OperatorBlanch's Bus Service
Blue Mountains Transit
Brunswick Valley Coaches
Buslink
CDC Ballarat
CDC Geelong
CDC Melbourne
CDC Travel
Coastal Liner
Forest Coach Lines
Hillsbus
Hunter Valley Buses
Qcity Transit
Purple Coaches
Transborder Express
Chief executiveNicolas Yap (Wayne Jeff as CEO of CDC NSW)
Websitewww.cdcbus.com.au (CDC NSW)
www.cdcvictoria.com.au (CDC Victoria)

ComfortDelGro Australia is a major Australian bus operator. Founded in October 2005 as ComfortDelGro Cabcharge, a joint venture between ComfortDelGro (51%) and Australian Cabcharge (49%), today it is a wholly owned subsidiary of ComfortDelGro.

History[edit]

Former ComfortDelGro Cabcharge logo

A joint venture, known as ComfortDelGro Cabcharge (CDC), was established between ComfortDelGro (51%) and Cabcharge Australia (49%) in October 2005 to purchase loss-making Westbus Group, which included Westbus (both Australia & UK), Hillsbus and Blue Ribbon from National Express and the Bosnjak family.[1] Blue Ribbon was rebranded Hunter Valley Buses at the same time. After the purchase, Westbus UK continued independently from the Westbus in Australia, despite bearing the latter's name, old logo and livery to this day. It became part of CityFleet Networks, initially also a joint venture between ComfortDelGro and Cabcharge, and now a wholly owned subsidiary of ComfortDelGro in the United Kingdom.[2] Cabcharge sold both of its stakes in CDC and CityFleet to ComfortDelGro in February and June 2017 respectively.[3] [4][5]

In August 2006 the routes of Baxter's Bus Lines were purchased by and absorbed into Westbus Region 3 operations.[6][7] In August 2007, Morisset Bus Service, Sugar Valley Coachlines and Toronto Bus Service were purchased and absorbed into Hunter Valley Buses.[8] In June 2008 a bus charter division was established under the Charterplus name.

Kefford Corporation in Victoria was purchased in November 2008.[9] The group was renamed CDC Victoria, but the names of the bus companies within the group were retained until replaced by the CDC brand in 2014.

In September 2012 Deane's Transit Group comprising Deane's Buslines (renamed as Qcity Transit) and Transborder Express in southern New South Wales were purchased.[10][11] In August 2014, CDC purchased Blue Mountains Bus Company, which was subsequently renamed Blue Mountains Transit in December 2014.[12]

In December 2016 ComfortDelgro announced it had agreed to purchase Cabcharge's 49% stake.[3][13][14] The sale was completed on 16 February 2017 after Foreign Investment Review Board approval was granted.[15] The former joint venture was then renamed ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia, still keeping the abbreviation CDC.

In April 2018, ComfortDelgro acquired Tullamarine Bus Lines in Melbourne and integrated it into CDC Melbourne.[16] At the same time, it acquired National Patient Transport, one of the largest private providers of non-emergency patient transport services in Australia.[17] In August 2018, ComfortDelgro acquired Coastal Liner on the Central Coast, and in September 2018, Forest Coach Lines with operations in Sydney, the Mid North Coast and North West Slopes.[18][19][20]

In November 2018, the Buslink business was acquired with 401 buses operating in the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.[21][22] In the same month, Charterplus was renamed CDC Travel.

In April 2019, ComfortDelGro acquired Blanch’s Bus Company and Brunswick Valley Coaches with a fleet of 48 buses and coaches in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.[23][24]

Operations[edit]

In New South Wales, CDC NSW is the second-largest commuter bus operator, operating as part of the New South Wales metropolitan bus system under the Forest Coach Lines, Hillsbus, Hunter Valley Buses and Blue Mountains Transit brands. CDC NSW also operates Qcity Transit and Transborder Express brands in regional New South Wales (Queanbeyan and Yass). In Victoria, CDC Victoria is third-largest commuter bus operator, operating under the CDC Ballarat, CDC Geelong and CDC Melbourne brands.

CDC NSW[edit]

Westbus[edit]

Westbus was a bus operator who operated bus services in Western Sydney. It was one of the first companies to be bought by ComfortDelGro Cabcharge in 2005. Until its cessation, Westbus' services were part of Sydney Bus Regions 1 and 3.[25][26] In 2012, these regions were put out to tender by Transport for NSW. Westbus' bids to retain both regions were not successful, with the Region 1 services operating out of St Marys and Windsor passing to Busways, while the Region 3 services operated by Bonnyrigg and Girraween passing to Transit Systems Sydney, both in October 2013.[27][28][29] As a result, Westbus ceased to operate routes, with remaining bus fleet transferred to other ComfortDelGro Cabcharge subsidiaries.

Hillsbus[edit]

Hillsbus a bus operator who operates bus services in the Hills District in Sydney. It was one of the first companies to be bought by ComfortDelGro Cabcharge in 2005. Since 2005, Hillsbus' services have formed Sydney Bus Region 4.[30] In August 2013 Hillsbus successfully tendered to operate the Region 4 services for another five years from August 2014.[31][32]

Hunter Valley Buses[edit]

Hunter Valley Buses provides commuter bus, school bus, coach and charter services in the Hunter Region of New South Wales.

The group's origins can be traced back to 1926 when Amos Fogg founded the operation. Having taken control of Hunter Valley Coaches, Maitland and purchased Linsley Brothers, Wallsend along with their Raymond Terrace routes, all were rebranded as Blue Ribbon. In October 1989 Fellowes Bus Service, Swansea was purchased followed by Singleton Bus Service in March 1992.[33][34]

In December 1993, most of the coach operations were sold to Sid Fogg's in exchange for some route services.[35] In 1999 the Maitland, Wallsend and Raymond Terrace depots were consolidated at a new site in Thornton. In February 2000 Blue Ribbon was sold to National Bus Company with 162 buses and coaches.[36] In October 2005 Blue Ribbon was purchased by ComfortDelGro Cabcharge and rebranded as Hunter Valley Buses.

In August 2007, Morisset Bus Service, Sugar Valley Coachlines and Toronto Bus Service were purchased from Robert Hertogs and consolidated into the Hunter Valley Buses operation.[8]

Since 2008, Hunter Valley Buses' services have formed Sydney Outer Metropolitan Bus Regions 2 and 4.[37]

On 1 August 2018, Coastal Liner that operated Sydney Outer Metropolitan Bus Regions 11 services and charter operations was acquired.[18][19] It now operates as part of Hunter Valley Buses although the brand is retained.

As of December 2018, Hunter Valley Buses operates 291 buses and coaches across five depots.[6] Upon formation Blue Ribbon adopted a livery of two blues for its route service buses and coaches and white and blue for school buses. Upon being rebranded as Hunter Valley Buses the same allover yellow scheme as used by Hillsbus and Westbus was adopted. In 2010 the Transport for NSW white and blue livery began to be applied.

CDC Travel[edit]

CDC Travel is CDC's bus charter division for its Sydney and Blue Mountains operations.[38] Initially established as Charterplus in 2008 to centralise the charter operations between the Hillsbus depots, this was expanded to the Westbus depots in 2009.[39] It organises charters for the CDC group, CDC rail bus workings, as well as CDC's special event commitments. Charterplus was renamed CDC Travel in November 2018. Originally based at Bonnyrigg, all Sydney CDC Travel vehicles are now based at the St Marys depot with some vehicles based in the Blue Mountains.

As of December 2018, CDC Travel operates 44 buses transferred from both the New South Wales and Victorian operations.[6]

Blue Mountains Transit[edit]

In August 2014, CDC purchased Blue Mountains Bus Company with 101 buses.[12][40] It operated depots in Emu Plains, Leura and Valley Heights.[41] Founded in 1951 as Pearce Omnibus, it operated services in the lower Blue Mountains. In 1999, it expanded with the purchase of Katoomba-Leura Bus Service, followed in 2002 by Blue Mountains Bus Co. On 1 December 2014, CDC formally took over the operations of Blue Mountains Bus Company and rebranded it as Blue Mountains Transit.

Blue Mountains Transit now operates 77 buses as of December 2018, across the same 3 depots.[42]

QCity and Transborder Express[edit]

In September 2012, CDC purchased Deane's Transit Group which comprised Deane's Buslines which operates local services in Queanbeyan and into Canberra, and Transborder Express which runs services between Yass, Murrumbateman, Hall and Canberra. Both brands also operate school services within their service region. On 8 July 2013, Deane's Buslines was rebranded as Qcity Transit.

As at November 2014, the combined Qcity Transit and Transborder Express fleet consisted of 104 buses.[43]

Forest Coach Lines[edit]

Forest Coach Lines is a bus and coach operator which operates in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney, the Mid North Coast, and North West Slopes regions in New South Wales. It was acquired by ComfortDelGro in August 2018.[18][19]

CDC Victoria[edit]

Westrans Volgren bodied Volvo B7L at Sunshine station in December 2013

In November 2008, ComfortDelGro Cabcharge entered the Victorian bus market with the acquisition of Kefford Corporation for A$149 million,[9] with its fleet of 328 buses and six depots. Kefford was the fourth largest bus operator in Victoria, with a 16% market share. The fleets retained their individual identities and liveries, with small CDC Victoria markings. Initially, the fleet continued to operate as Eastrans and Westrans in Melbourne, Benders Busways in Geelong and Davis Bus Lines in Ballarat.

In July 2013, the route operations of the Driver Group were acquired for A$22 million comprising five routes (612 and 623 - 626) and 42 buses,[44][45][46] and integrated into the Eastrans brand.[47][48][49]

On 14 July 2014, CDC Victoria launched a new website for its four Victorian brands. Benders Busways was renamed as CDC Geelong and Davis Bus Lines to CDC Ballarat.[50] In October 2014, Westrans and Eastrans were united and rebranded as CDC Melbourne. At the time, CDC Victoria had six depots and operated 446 buses.[51]

In May 2018, CDC Victoria acquired Tullamarine Bus Lines, with its six routes (477-479, 484, 490 and 543) and 36 buses, and integrated it into CDC Melbourne.[16][19] Included in the purchase is Tullamarine's small taxi management business called Cabways, which was renamed CDC Fleet in November 2018. [52][53]

CDC Victoria's subsidiaries are:

CDC Victoria is the third-largest commuter bus operator in Victoria, with 17% of the market. Ventura Bus Lines is the largest privately owned bus company in Australia and Transdev Melbourne is Melbourne's second biggest bus operator with 1/3rd of the market.[54]

Buslink[edit]

Buslink is a bus operator which operates in Alice Springs, Darwin, Jabiru and Humpty Doo in Northern Territory, as well as Gladstone, Sunshine Coast, Broken Hill, Wentworth and Mildura in other Australian states. It was acquired by ComfortDelGro in November 2018.[21]

Blanch's Bus Company[edit]

Blanch's Bus Company operate scheduled route and school bus services in the Ballina, Lennox Head, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby areas of Northern NSW out of depots in Ballina and Billinudgel. Established in 1976, Brunswick Valley Coaches was purchased in 2010 with the brand retained.[55] It was acquired by ComfortDelGro in April 2019.[23]

National Patient Transport[edit]

National Patient Transport is s one of the largest private providers of non-emergency patient transport services in Australia. ComfortDelGro acquired National Patient Transport in April 2018.[17]

Other ComfortDelGro operations in Australia[edit]

These operations are operations of ComfortDelGro in Australia that are not part of ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia.

Swan Taxis[edit]

Swan Taxis Toyota Camry with Comfortdelgro livery

ComfortDelGro fully owns Swan Taxis, a taxi company operates taxis in Perth. Swan Taxis was formed by Matt Reid in 1928 and in October 2010, it was acquired by ComfortDelGro after an offer was made in July earlier that year.[56][57][58] In October 2017, Swan Taxis acquired Metro WA Taxi Management Pty Ltd (Metro Taxi), the largest taxi management company in Perth.[58] The acquisition marked Swan Taxis' entry into fleet management and ownership.[59]

Being wholly owned by ComfortDelGro since acquisition, the Swan Taxis operation was never part of the ComfortDelGro Cabcharge joint venture, and therefore remains a separate entity to ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia.[59]

Purple Coaches[edit]

Purple Coaches is a coach operator in Western Australia. As of 2018, Purple Coaches (legal name ComforDelGro Swan Pty Ltd) is a subsidiary of Swans Taxis, and hence it is also not a subsidiary of ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia.[60]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Westbus owners guarantee jobs, services". Sydney Morning Herald. 22 August 2005.
  2. ^ Annual Report year ended 30 June 2014 Cabcharge
  3. ^ a b "ComfortDelGro buys out Aussie subsidiary Cabcharge for $196m". Straits Times. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  4. ^ "ComfortDelGro to buy remaining stake in CityFleet Networks for S$14 million". Business Times. 28 June 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Cabcharge sells stake in CityFleet for $13.3m". 29 June 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b c CDC Group Australian Bus Fleetlists
  7. ^ "Changes Galore in Sydney" Buses Worldwide November 2007 page 8
  8. ^ a b Toronto Bus Service Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  9. ^ a b Kefford Group finds a buyer Australian Bus & Coach 20 November 2008
  10. ^ Deane's buses sold for $53 million ABC News 4 August 2012
  11. ^ Deane's sold Australasian Bus & Coach 3 August 2012
  12. ^ a b Cabcharge buys bus company for $26.5 million Blue Mountains Gazette 13 August 2014
  13. ^ Acquisition of Shares in ComfortDelGro Cabcharge Pty Ltd Archived 6 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine ComfortDelGro 21 December 2016
  14. ^ Cabcharge departs Aust bus market Special Broadcasting Service 21 December 2016
  15. ^ Australia Bus ComfortDelgro
  16. ^ a b "CDC Victoria further strengthens bus footprint in Victoria" (PDF). CDC Victoria. 13 April 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 June 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  17. ^ a b "ComfortDelGro Expands Into Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services In Australia" (PDF). ComfortDelgro. 9 April 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 May 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  18. ^ a b c "ComfortDelGro Deepens Footprint In Australia With Two Acquisitions Totalling A$134.45 Million". ComfortDelgro. 7 August 2018. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  19. ^ a b c d "ComfortDelGro invests S$136.5m in Australian bus assets". Channel NewsAsia. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  20. ^ End of an era for Forest Coach Lines Manly Daily 28 September 2018
  21. ^ CDC to Buy Buslink for AUD$190M - Its Largest Australian Purchase to Date Australasian Bus & Coach 6 November 2018
  22. ^ a b "Comfortdelgro Further Deepens Footprint In Australia With A$28.3 Million Bus Acquisition". ComfortDelGro. 23 April 2019. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  23. ^ ComfortDelGro buys Australian bus operator B&E Blanch for A$28.3m Business Times 23 April 2019
  24. ^ Region 1 Archived 25 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Transport NSW
  25. ^ Region 3 Archived 25 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Transport NSW
  26. ^ Cut costs or bus contracts will go to private sector, minister tells drivers Sydney Morning Herald 7 November 2012
  27. ^ Busways wins 300 bus contract in Western Sydney Busways 7 November 2012
  28. ^ Transit Systems awarded Sydney buses contract Archived 25 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Transit Systems 7 November 2012
  29. ^ Region 4 Archived 25 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Transport NSW
  30. ^ More than 60 new buses and improved customer service with new bus contracts Transport for NSW 29 August 2013
  31. ^ Annual Report 2013 page 4 Archived 5 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine Cabcharge
  32. ^ New South Wales Bus Operators and Fleet Listings. Sydney: Historic Commercial Vehicle Association. 1993. pp. 20, 115.
  33. ^ Blue Ribbon Coaches Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  34. ^ "Ownership changes" Fleetline March 1994 page 56
  35. ^ "Blue Ribbon Sells to National Express" Australian Bus Panorama issue 15/4 February 2000 page 29
  36. ^ Outer Metropolitan Sydney Bus Contract Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4 Archived 22 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine, NSW Government Transport and Infrastructure, Retrieved 8 July 2014
  37. ^ CDC Travel CDC NSW
  38. ^ "History & operations". CDC Victoria. Archived from the original on 20 March 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  39. ^ "Australia - Sydney, New South Wales". ComfortDelGro. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  40. ^ Blue Mountains Bus Company Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  41. ^ CDC/Blue Mountains Transit Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  42. ^ Deane's Buslines Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  43. ^ ComfortDelGro Expands Melbourne Operations Through A$22.0 Million Acquisition Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine ComfortDelGro 20 May 2013
  44. ^ Acquisition of further Bus Route Service Business in Melbourne Cabcharge 20 May 2013
  45. ^ Updates and News Archived 6 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine CDC Victoria
  46. ^ ComfortDelGro Expands Melbourne Operations Through A$22.0 Million Acquisition Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine ComfortDelGro 20 May 2013
  47. ^ Acquisition of further Bus Route Service Business in Melbourne Cabcharge 20 May 2013
  48. ^ Updates and News Archived 6 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine CDC Victoria
  49. ^ CDC A brand new look for CDC Victoria Archived 3 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ CDC Group Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  51. ^ "Current details for ABN 65 004 836 551". ABN Lookup. Archived from the original on 20 March 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  52. ^ "CDC Vic pays deposit for north-west Melbourne bus operator". Australasian Bus & Coach. 13 April 2018. Archived from the original on 9 May 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  53. ^ Off the buses: Transdev buses pulled off the road after failing safety blitz
  54. ^ B&E Blanch Bus Lists of Australia
  55. ^ "About Our Company". Swan Taxis. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  56. ^ "$38m offer for Swan Taxis". WA Today. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  57. ^ a b "Australia - Perth". ComfortDelGro. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  58. ^ a b "Annual Report 2017". ComfortDelGro. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  59. ^ "Annual Report 2018". ComfortDelGro. Archived from the original on 10 May 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2019.

External links[edit]