BusSA, Opinion

Bus SA has its own take on safety and the big issues

The return of Bus SA’s conference resulted in a different approach, calling in external experts to discuss how to better market the bus and coach industry

The Bus SA conference made a bold comeback this year, exploring innovative strategies for marketing the bus and coach industry. The scenic National Wine Centre in Adelaide set the stage for an opening session focused on rebranding and revitalising the sector.

Advertising and media personality Sputnik encouraged the industry to scrutinise product, price and market position before launching targeted promotional campaigns and emphasised the importance of putting people at the heart of every business decision.

Marketing expert Tarnia Conti proposed novel marketing concepts, drawing inspiration from the aviation industry and highlighting the importance of creating memorable experiences and themes beyond ordinary bus services.

Human relations expert Jo Marshall stressed the need to prioritise employees and passengers. A disengaged employee can cost a business up to 34 per cent of their salary, meaning understanding and supporting staff is vital.

South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis assured attendees that his government takes a collaborative approach to achieving a transition to zero and low emissions, as well as an expanded network. Shadow Transport and Infrastructure Minister Vincent Tarzia called for a re-evaluation of the intra-regional service between Mount Gambier and Adelaide.

The agenda then shifted to education and emissions challenges, as well as updates from the Department for Infrastructure and Transport, Scania, the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) and APTIA.

The Conference concluded with a spirited mock session of BusSAfe, Bus SA’s flagship student safety program. Attendees were encouraged onstage and dressed up as students (a private schoolboy and a netballer), a bus driver and a mum called Jemima. They acted out some of the safety messages taught in a BusSAfe session. On a more serious note,
Andrea Overall gave an overarching explanation of the successes and future goals of the BusSAfe program.

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