Industry Awards Winners 2016
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BusNSW Industry Awards 2016 - Winners

Innovative Operator of the Year

Winner: TRANSIT AUSTRALIA GROUP (Surfside Buslines)

Pictured : Joe Sidoti MP, Michael Calabro (Surfside Buslines), Darryl Mellish (BusNSW)

Transit Australia Group (Surfside Buslines) has evolved their business operations in order to meet the demands of passenger growth and the increasing focus on customer experience.

The company has invested millions of dollars into a training program to ensure its staff are offered training in every aspect of the transport industry.

Transit Australia Group (Surfside Buslines) has a “People Excellence Program” which aims to improve performance and provide professional pathways for each of the firm’s employees. It offers 25 training courses from entry level to senior management positions.

The company recently took out the Large Employer of the Year category at a State Training awards.

Transit Australia Group (Surfside Buslines) has an innovative training program the uses six sigma methodology and other advanced data-analysis tools and techniques, to challenge the norms of the transport industry. This aims to create a better customer experience and long-term employment opportunities for staff.

Transit Australia Group (Surfside Buslines) is a family-owned firm that operates more than 700 vehicles for the public and private sectors, across two States including NSW, and employs more than 1400 people.

Company History

In 1989, brothers Tony and Joe Calabro sought an opportunity by seizing a small bus company in receivership in the Tweed area of the Gold Coast from a large international transport company. They had the self-belief that through good customer service and hard work they could turn the business around.

Beginning with a small fleet of buses, Surfside Buslines implemented a number of progressive initiatives and promotion of services which led to consistent passenger growth.

Over the following years, Surfside Buslines furthered this growth through the acquisition of Tweed Bus Service (1993), Gold Coast Citybus (1995), Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle (1998) and Coomera Bus Lines (2001). This allowed for the Gold Coast community to have one integrated timetable and consistent service delivery.

Recognising a need for more innovation in the bus building sector, the Calabros’ formed bus manufacturing company Bustech in 1995. Since its inception, Bustech has been at the forefront of designing and developing passenger transport vehicles.

In 2008, having confidence in the future of Queensland and urban bus operations, the Calabros’ purchased Townsville, Cairns, Magnetic Island, Sunshine Coast and Rockhampton and consolidated both Surfside Buslines and Sunbus under Transit Australia Group.

Today Transit Australia Group is one of the largest private mass transit operators in Australia and operates 6 different businesses across the east coast of Australia.

Outstanding Contribution to the Industry


Pictured: Joe Sidoti MP & Jim Glasson (ComfortDelgro Cabcharge)

Jim Glasson commenced an association with the industry in 1997 when he held a Management position for the Olympic Roads and Transport Authority (ORTA), with responsibility for oversighting the delivery of transport services during the 2000 Olympic games.

From March 2005 to November 2005 Jim held senior positions at the NSW Ministry of Transport, with responsibility for the leadership and direction of the Ministry’s policy and Ministerial support functions.

Jim was Director General of the NSW Ministry of Transport from February 2006 to May 2009, where some of his achievements including the introduction of strategic bus corridors and services, implementation of Regional Excursion Daily (RED) providing all day travel in country centres for $2.50, introduction of the Bus Operator Accreditation Scheme, and the delivery of transport services for World Youth Day.

Since June 2009 Jim has been the Chief Executive Officer of Australia’s largest bus operator, with over 1600 buses providing services primarily under government contracts in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

Jim has been a Board Member of BusNSW since August 2009. During his time in government and as a private bus operator Jim has been a strong and active supporter of the Bus Industry.

Supplier of the Year


Pictured: Joe Sidoti MP,  John Mikita (Transit Graphics), Darryl Mellish (BusNSW)

Transit Graphics is considered a leader in the provision of transport information products and materials with extensive experience, not only Australia-wide but also worldwide.

Since 1998 Transit Graphics has maintained a leading standing in the provision of wayfinding, timetable production, mapping and web design.

Transit Graphics is constantly looking out for new and better ways to promote public transport as the viable alternative and also helping the travelling public to better understand the services and facilities offered by transport providers.

Transit Graphics is thoroughly familiar with Australian design standards, especially the standards placed upon transport operators by the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and visual signage standards. The company has carried out extensive research in the development of transport material.

Transit Graphics has built up a large and loyal customer base of BusNSW Members, who strongly supported the nomination.

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