Scouts coop for Vic operator

By: Randall Johnston

Huge 85-coach operation sees Coach Tours of Australia step up its charter capability

Scouts coop for Vic operator
The 85-coach operation from Melbourne to Sydney for the 2016 Australian Scout Jamboree was planned down to the finest detail

Coach Tours of Australia has been buoyed by the success of a huge 85-coach operation from Sydney to Melbourne for the 2016 Australian Scout Jamboree.

The Victorian operator won the contract amidst a competitive tender process that saw its staff go all out to ensure a smooth journey for all the scouts, scoutmasters and parents.

"It was a huge job, but we are very proud of how we executed it ," general manager Dave Nickels says.

"They’ve already asked us to provide transport for their upcoming events in Adelaide."

The DONRIC Group (Sunbury Coaches, Gold Bus, Organs and Coach Tours of Australia) along with Bayside Coaches provided the overnight service to Sydney on January 2, and return travel to Melbourne 10 days later.

The Coach Tours of Australia operations team stayed up all night monitoring the coaches via GPS and conducting welfare phone calls to all drivers involved.

A lack of suitable roadhouses between the two centres meant the organisation had to set up their own food and refreshment stalls along the way, complete with full barbeque facilities.

The GPS tracking technology was actually integrated with the Scouts Australia website, so parents could log on and see where their children were on their journey, for peace for mind and in order to coordinate the collection of their children.

Mobile mechanics, spare coaches and additional drivers were also deployed just in case.

"We have put a lot of effort into building up the charter side of the business, so it is very pleasing to see it really start to take off," Nickels says.

"A new approach was needed and we definitely went above and beyond on this one, and there’s no doubt it has given us a lot of confidence going forward."

Coach Tours of Australia moved into a new depot in Laverton last year and is in the process of building a brand new depot at Bacchus Marsh, which it hopes to have completed before the end of this year.

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