FAMILY AFFAIR: Sid Fogg’s eldest son, Terry Fogg, and wife Kay moved to Nelson Bay in 1963 and ran the company before their children Chris and Alison took over management.Continued from page 30“Things evolve and you must change with them,” Chris said. “If you don’t you will be left behind and you will become forgotten.
“We may take people to different destinations and locations for different reasons but the need for travel is there.
“Our position remains the same: if people want to go somewhere and the numbers add up, we’ll take them there.”
In navigating the twists and turns through 60 years PSC has become part of the community fabric –there in good times and the bad.
“We are always at the forefront of emergencies and large events,” Chris said.
“During the Pasha Bulka/Newcastle Floods of 2007 Port Stephens Coaches were an intergral part of the rail replacement services for both NSW Trains and Trainlink.
“It was the same again in the 2015/2016 Maitland floods. In fact, PSC plays an integral part in alleviating all major transport disruptions in the area.
“Recently during the2014 Port Stephens bush fires, PSCcontinuallydiverted buses through Raymond Terraceand other areasto get services around affected areaswhich changed by the hour. You may not have had two buses run the same routes. As the fire moved so did requirement to change the direction for the service for safe travel.”
PSC started with six buses, but these days the operationhas a fleet of over 100 running bus and charter services throughout the Hunter, NSW, Queensland and Victoria and employing over 150 people.
To stay viable Port Stephens Coaches has been a leader in innovation.
KayFoggwas the first lady bus driver in the Hunter and the company was the first in the area toinstall two-way radios and electronic ticketing.
“There used to be no mobile phones so if a bus broke down the driver usually had to walk to the nearest house, ask if they had a phoneand ring the office,” Chris recalled.
“Otherwise they’d walk a couple of miles to the nearest phone box.Back in those days there were more phone boxes on the roads and they weren’t vandalised. If that didn’t work, they’d often have to fix the problem themselves.”
Before electronic tickets, the drivers had to take care of individual paper tickets for each passenger.”
That inconvenience was literally small change compared to other things the drivers had to put up with.
“The old buses had no power steering, they were equipped with front engines, which werenoiseywith their non synchro-mash “crash” gearboxes, and hot, which combined withno air-conditioning meant driving conditions were far from the pleasant experience they are today,” Chris said.
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