ComfortDelGro Australia is a major Australian public transport company. Founded in October 2005 as ComfortDelGro Cabcharge, a joint venture between Singapore-based ComfortDelGro (51%) and Australian Cabcharge (49%), today it is a wholly owned subsidiary of ComfortDelGro.
|Service area||Australian Capital Territory|
New South Wales
|Service type||Bus services|
|Operator||Blanch's Bus Service|
Blue Mountains Transit
Brunswick Valley Coaches
Buslink Broken Hill
Forest Coach Lines
Hunter Valley Buses
|Chief executive||Nicolas Yap|
|Website||www.cdcbus.com.au (CDC NSW)|
www.cdcvictoria.com.au (CDC Victoria)
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. 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. Cabcharge sold both of its stakes in CDC and CityFleet to ComfortDelGro in February and June 2017 respectively.
In August 2006 the routes of Baxter's Bus Lines were purchased by and absorbed into Westbus Region 3 operations. In August 2007, Morisset Bus Service, Sugar Valley Coachlines and Toronto Bus Service were purchased and absorbed into Hunter Valley Buses. In June 2008 a bus charter division was established under the Charterplus name.
Kefford Corporation in Victoria was purchased in November 2008. 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. In August 2014, CDC purchased Blue Mountains Bus Company, which was subsequently renamed Blue Mountains Transit in December 2014.
In December 2016 ComfortDelgro announced it had agreed to purchase Cabcharge's 49% stake. The sale was completed on 16 February 2017 after Foreign Investment Review Board approval was granted. 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 in August 2018. At the same time, it acquired National Patient Transport, one of the largest private providers of non-emergency patient transport services in Australia. 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.
In November 2018, the Buslink business was acquired with 401 buses operating in the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. 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.
ComfortDelgro Corporation Australia operates:
- CDC NSW
- CDC Victoria
- Buslink Northern Territory
- Buslink Queensland
- Blanch's Bus Company
- Brunswick Valley Coaches
- National Patient Transport
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. 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. As a result, Westbus ceased to operate routes, with remaining bus fleet transferred to other ComfortDelGro Cabcharge subsidiaries.
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. In August 2013 Hillsbus successfully tendered to operate the Region 4 services for another five years from August 2014.
Hunter Valley Buses
Hunter Valley Buses is a bus operator who operates bus, coach and charter services in the Central Coast and Hunter regions of New South Wales. Previously known as Blue Ribbon, it was one of the first companies to be bought by ComfortDelGro Cabcharge in 2005. Since 2008, Hunter Valley Buses' services have formed Outer Sydney Metropolitan Bus Regions 2 and 4. In August 2018, its service area expanded to include Outer Sydney Metropolitan Bus Region 11 after the purchase of Coastal Liner.
The origins of Hunter Valley Buses 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.
In December 1993, most of the coach operations were sold to Sid Fogg's in exchange for some route services. 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. In October 2005 Blue Ribbon was purchased by ComfortDelGro Cabcharge and rebranded as Hunter Valley Buses.
On 1 August 2018, Coastal Liner that operated Outer Sydney Metropolitan Bus Region 11 services and charter operations was acquired. It now operates as part of Hunter Valley Buses although the brand is retained.
As of November 2019, Hunter Valley Buses operates 296 buses and coaches across five depots. 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 is CDC's bus charter division for its Sydney and Blue Mountains operations. Initially established as Charterplus in 2008 to centralise the charter operations between the Hillsbus depots, this was expanded to the Westbus depots in 2009. 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.
Blue Mountains Transit
In August 2014, CDC purchased Blue Mountains Bus Company with 101 buses. It operated depots in Emu Plains, Leura and Valley Heights. 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.
QCity and Transborder Express
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.
Forest Coach Lines
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.
In November 2008, when ComfortDelGro Cabcharge entered the Victorian bus market with the acquisition of Kefford Corporation for A$149 million, 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, and integrated into the Eastrans brand.
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. 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.
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 in August 2018. Also included in the purchase is Tullamarine's small taxi management business called Cabways, which was renamed CDC Fleet in November 2018, and operates 13CABS and Silver Top branded taxis.
CDC Victoria's subsidiaries are:
- CDC Melbourne operating out of depots in Airport West (Tullamarine), Oakleigh South (Oakleigh), Sunshine (Sunshine) and Truganina (Wyndham)
- CDC Ballarat
- CDC Geelong
- CDC Fleet
- Buslink Broken Hill
- Buslink Sunraysia renamed Buslink Mildura
CDC Melbourne is the third-largest commuter bus operator in Melbourne, with 16% of the market share in the city. Ventura Bus Lines is the largest privately owned bus company in Australia and Transdev Melbourne is Melbourne's second biggest bus operator with 1/3 of the market.
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. The Broken Hill operation still operating as Buslink Broken Hill was in 2019 moved to CDC Victoria's control along with the Sunraysia Mildura and Wentworth operations now known as Buslink Mildura.
Blanch's Bus Company
Blanch's Bus Company, established in 1976, operates 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. Since 2010, it also owned Brunswick Valley Coaches, while retaining the latter's brand.
Other ComfortDelGro operations in Australia
These operations are operations of ComfortDelGro in Australia that are not part of ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia.
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. In October 2017, Swan Taxis acquired Metro WA Taxi Management Pty Ltd (Metro Taxi), the largest taxi management company in Perth. The acquisition marked Swan Taxis' entry into fleet management and ownership.
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.
Purple Coaches is a private charter bus operator based in Bayswater, Perth. It was acquired by ComfortDelGro in August 2018. As of December 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.
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