Dion's Bus Service

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Dion's Bus Service
Parent Dion family
Commenced operation 1923
Headquarters Fairy Meadow
Service area Wollongong
Service type Bus operator
Routes 3
Depots 1
Fleet 18 (May 2014)
Website www.dions.com.au

Dion's Bus Service[1] is an Australian bus company operating services in Wollongong.

History

Dion's Bus Service was founded in 1923 when Thomas Dion commenced operating a service from Wollongong to Balgownie followed by a service to Bellambi.[2][3] It is currently the oldest operating bus operator in the Illawarra.[4][5]

From December 1927 until 1931 a coach service was operated to Sydney. In January 1928 it commenced operating route 1 services from Wollongong to Austinmer, along with five other operators. In August 1929, Barney Dion commenced operating a service from Wollongong to Kiama.[3]

In the late 1940s, the Balgownie and Bellambi routes were sold. By 1964, through a number of acquisitions, the Austinmer service was operated jointly by Dion's and Jim Hill. In December 1976, Dion's became the sole operator of the service and in the same year, selling the Kiama service to John J Hill at the same time.[3] On 24 February 1992, route 4 Wollongong to Bulli was purchased from John J Hill.[2][6]

Services

Since 2008, Dion's services have been part of Sydney Outer Metropolitan Bus Region 9.[7]

They operate 5 routes in the northern and central suburbs of Wollongong:[8]

  • 1: Fairy Meadow, Corrimal, Woonona, Bulli, Thirroul and Austinmer including Friday and Saturday nights only Hassle Free bus service between Wollongong and Thirroul via Princes Highway.
  • 1U: Austinmer to University via Princes Highway
  • 4: Fairy Meadow, Corrimal, Woonona, East Woonona and Bulli.
  • 4U: Bulli to University via Princes Highway, East Woonona and Corrimal.
  • 9: UOW NG Shuttle - Free Loop Service between North Wollongong Station to Wollongong University via Kids Uni, URAC, Creative Arts Building and Hope Theatre. [9]

A number of community and government stakeholders funded Dion's "Wollongong Summer Bus", a late night bus service run in central Wollongong during the summer months. The Summer Bus was a drink-drive and drink-walk prevention strategy supported by licensed venues as well as local government, health, police and transport authorities.[10] It no longer operates since route 1 now operates for extended hours on Friday and Saturday nights.[11]

Fleet

As at May 2014, the fleet comprised 18 buses.[12] The fleet livery was blue and white until 1989 when a metallic grey, blue and black livery was introduced. In 2010, the Transport for New South Wales white and blue livery was adopted.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Dion's built their own bodies on second-hand Leyland Comet truck chassis. In 1989, Dion's purchased two Hinos, these were the first new buses in over 40 years.[3][13]

References

  1. ^ Seapost Pty Ltd Australian Securities & Investments Commission
  2. ^ a b New South Wales Bus Operators and Fleet Listings. Sydney: Historic Commercial Vehicle Association. 1993. p. 16. 
  3. ^ a b c d History Dion's Bus Service
  4. ^ At 85 And Going Strong, Les Dion Keeps On Bussing, Boat Seat, Published 9 April 2005, Retrieved 7 December 2014
  5. ^ Passengers ride with Dions legend Illawarra Mercury 2 December 2013
  6. ^ "Routes, timetables and services" Fleetline issue 210 January 1993 page 15
  7. ^ Outer Metropolitan Sydney Bus Contract Regions 9 and 10 Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine. NSW Government Transport & Infrastructure October 2009
  8. ^ Dion's Timetables Dion's Bus Service
  9. ^ Free Shuttle Buses University of Wollongong
  10. ^ Wollongong / Thirroul Nightbus archived 19 July 2013
  11. ^ Wollongong / Thirroul Nightbus retrieved 6 January 2015
  12. ^ Dion's Bus Service Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  13. ^ "Dion's Bus Service" Fleetline issue 177 April 1990 page 61

External links

  • Company website
  • WIN News report on the 90th Anniversary of Dion's
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