Subject to Government approvals Forest
Coach Lines, owned by the Royle family for 85 years, have sold a
majority interest to private equity firm Next Capital.
Current Joint Managing Director of Forest
Coach Lines, David Royle, will continue in the role of CEO and
will remain a significant minority shareholder of Forest. Mr Royle
said: "We welcome Next Capital's investment in Forest Coach Lines,
which is their first investment in the public transport sector in
Mr Royle is delighted to be able to keep the
family name and generations of experience as an integral part of
the management and ownership of Forest Coach Lines. Mr Royle
commented that “Forest Coach Lines’ reputation for high quality
customer service delivery, high patronage growth and efficient
operations combined with the significant experience that Next
Capital has in the bus sector in New Zealand will strategically
position Forest Coach Lines for significant organic and market
growth opportunities that become available in the coming years."
For the first time in 25 years a double deck bus will enter
into service on a Sydney Road on Monday morning.
Northern Beaches operator, Forest Coach Lines, will be
trialling the Queensland built vehicle in the coming weeks on
their ever expanding City services from Frenchs Forest and St.
Ives to gauge the suitability of the vehicle on Sydney’s harsh
Double Deck buses are currently being trialled on the Gold
Coast by the same Queensland Bus Manufacturer.
The high capacity people mover can seat 96 passengers and will
take well over 100 with standees. The unique design makes it the
only dual front axle bus in operation which allows it to overcome
strict weight limits and cater for the extra deck.
Forest Coach Lines Managing Director David Royle said, “This
vehicle is the Airbus, A380 of buses. With its large seating
capacity (30 more than the articulated buses), I’m anticipating
this will be very popular with our passengers on the rapidly
growing suburban to City express routes. The vehicle offers
superior fuel efficiency to other high capacity vehicles and a
lower cost per passenger delivering both environmental benefits
and better value for money.
“The vehicle is 12.5 metres long representing the same length
as regular buses in services. We are mindful of CBD congestion and
kerb space as a premium and this vehicle will make more efficient
use of the limited road space available in peaks. Articulated
buses for instance take up 18 metres of road space.
We intend to put this prototype vehicle into service next week
and pending the success of the trial we will put a submission to
government for these vehicles to become a regular part of the
Mr Royle further advised, “The double deck bus meets all of the
Government’s procurement standards for its metropolitan route
buses and we are hoping that the government will enter into
partnership with us to ensure that these innovations from Forest
Coach Lines are implemented for the benefit of the public who are
slowly losing patience with our congested transport system.”
Royle Family inducted in Transport Wall of Fame Nov 8 2010
Forest Coach Lines' founding Royle family was recently honoured in Alice Springs as inductees into the National Road Transport Wall of Fame- being recognised for their contribution to the bus transport industry.
The National Road Transport Wall of Fame is an initiative of the Alice Springs-based Road Transport Histrorical Society Inc., a community-based volunteer organisation dedicated to the preservation of Australia's unique road transport heritage. The concept was borne out of concern that most trucks from yesteryear were rusting away on rural properties and cattle stations.
Forest Coach Lines Managing Director David Royle said "we are honoured to be recognised for three generations of work in the bus industry."
Forest Coach Lines wins CILTA Customer Service Award Nov 5 2010
Forest Coach Lines is pleased to announce it has been the recipient of the 2010 Customer Service Award for Large businesses, presented by the Certified Institute of Logistics and Transport.
Forest Coach Lines Managing Director, Mr. David Royle said "we are very pleased to be recognized by for this award given the company's long standing dedication to customer service. We are thankful to our customers for acknowledging our efforts and we look forward to continuing our long standing relationships with them".
The national judging for this category is based on an independent customer service which is undertaken by independent consultants, Strategic Management Solutions. The survey allows customers to rate the importance of the various service categories from their perspective and then to evaluate the performance of the organisation against these. It also provides feedback and suggestions of how the service standards and levels of satisfaction can be improved. This is all, of course, confidential and customers will not be identified in the detailed written report. The performance criteria on which all companies are assessed are:
- Service knowledge of company employees.
- Individualised attention to customers.
- Overall appearance and presentation of the company.
- Ability to meet deadlines and provide prompt service.
- Courteous employees at all times.
- Dependable and accurate service.
- Ability to convey trust and confidence.
- Ability to demonstrate compliance with company's safety requirements.
- Open, honest and responsive when issues arise.
- Willingness to recommend company to others.
- Overall satisfaction with the company's service.
Finalists in the large business category were:
- Australian Air Express
- My Freight Career
- Adelaide Airport Limited
Cash or Prepay: Investigating motivations for payment of bus fares Nov 3 2010
The project aims to understand the motivations driving the choice of bus passengers' payment mechanisms, either cash or prepay tickets, and to understand the impact of simplifying the fare system and improving multimodal prepay tickets. The project involved surveys of frequent bus passengers travelling on Forest Coach Lines services before and after the introduction of the MyZone fare reform system in April 2010.
Cash or Prepay? Motivations for passenger payment