Custom Coaches and State Transit celebrated the delivery of the 1000th bus to State Transit. Special guests Penny Sharpe, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Peter Rowley, CEO State Transit, Ninos Khoshaba, Member for Smithfield joined Sydney’s private operators, AMWU, Volvo bus staff, Sydney Bus Museum, National Bank Australia, TAFE NSW, key suppliers, State Transit and Custom Coaches staff to commemorate this unique milestone.
“It’s not every day an Australian bus body builder delivers 1000 buses to one customer and it is a unique milestone worth celebrating,” according to Mark Burgess, CEO Custom Coaches. Custom Coaches and State Transit have been working together on bus contracts over the past 50 years. The first bus delivered to State Transit was the Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmaster in 1958 forming part of 125 bus order for Department of Transport NSW.
Since then Custom Coaches has provided State Transit with 300 CNG Mercedes buses and 250 Volvo B12 diesel buses (rigid and articulated) prior to the start of the “505” contract. The “505” contract included 250 diesel Volvo buses and 255 CNG Mercedes buses. It was the 163rd Volvo B12BLE that became the 1000th Custom Coaches bus manufactured for State Transit.
“It’s not just a matter of designing and building buses for operators such as State Transit, you have to form a partnership for the life of the bus,” advised Mark Burgess. “Each Custom Coaches bus is designed to operate for 25 years, and we need to partner our customers throughout the life of the bus. We will supply parts, technical assistance and perform a mid life refurbishment and any other assistance as part of our commitment as a bus builder in Australia”.
Of the 1000 buses delivered to State Transit by Custom Coaches there are 875 currently operating today, only the first 125 Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmaster have been decommissioned. As part of the celebration, the bus museum at Tempe provided one of the original Royal Tigers for the day for everyone to compare the 1958 model to the 2009 model.
The 1000th bus has a special livery and badging on the outside to commemorate this unique milestone. Passengers will also notice the difference inside with special celebratory fabric on all the seats supplied by Holdsworth Australia.
“It’s a commitment from all our staff also. We are very lucky to have great employees, with extensive experience. One of our staff members has just celebrated his 50th year at Custom Coaches and we have got many who have been with us for over 35 years,” said Mark Burgess