Keeping up with the Kings

By: Chris Thompson, Photography by: Chris Thompson

John and Gerard King are two of the industry’s most established operators

Keeping up with the Kings
Gerard King is the man behind Kiama Coaches and Hopkinson's

Gerard King, one half of the King brothers who run Premier Transport Group, the other being John, is now managing director of Hopkinson’s Transport.

Hopkinson’s is now part of Premier, though the operation still retains its name, brand, and the majority of the workforce who had been around for much of Hopkinson’s previous success.

The King brothers are stalwarts of the bus industry, having managed countless companies over the past few decades.

John manages most of the Premier Transport Group, but it’s not unusual to occasionally see mention of "the Kings" on forums here and there.

However, King points out there is another, more behind-the-scenes mastermind helping run the show.

This person is actually Premier group general manager Simone King, John’s daughter.

"She started in buses cleaning coaches on Christmas Eve so they could get back out on the express for Casino 99 when she was about 9 years old," King recalls.

"She has done the hard yards."

King says having a few of people to manage the workload makes it easier to keep track of a few businesses.

"Traditionally, we run a lot of bus companies at one time – John and I," he says.

"In days gone by, I used to manage for Samson Tours as well.

"I was running the Proserpine depot, the Sydney depot, and I had Kiama as well."

King still manages Kiama Coaches, which is based in the town of the same name, just south of Wollongong.

He says while he’s fairly busy looking after Kiama and Hopkinson’s, he could always take on new work.

"We, John and I, are always up for acquisition … it’s just what we do.

"We start new services or take over old services and revamp them."

King says the acquisition of Hopkinson’s happened at an opportune time, as Kiama was about to take on a fairly big contract and the fleet would then be thinned in terms of availability.

"Kiama was going into a contract with Transport for NSW, and it was also not going to have the coaches to be able to service the charter work," he says.

"I liked what Graham Hopkinson had – I wanted to proceed with it, which is why I’ve kept his name here."

Read more about Gerard King and Hopkinson’s Transport in the October issue of ABC Magazine.

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