THEY’VE been moving people around the Lithgow district, the Blue Mountains and Bathurst region for 90 years, but members of the best-known family name in public transport in the area are calling it a day.
The iconic Jones Brothers Bus Company has been sold to one of the nation’s most prominent operators and the change of ownership is set to take place next week.
Jones Bros Bus Company Pty Limited directors Peter and Graham Jones yesterday announced that after providing transport services to Lithgow and surrounding districts for more than 90 years, the company is to change hands from April 2.
Buslines Group will assume ownership and management of the operation in Lithgow and Bathurst.
Graham Jones said the Buslines Group – as a well-established and experienced bus operator providing large services in Lismore, Ballina, Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth, Berrima, Griffith and Picton – will continue to service the Lithgow and Bathurst districts, providing passenger timetable services and employing local staff from the Lithgow and Bathurst depots.
Jones Bros operates 24 vehicles from the Lithgow depot providing school and route services to communities in Wentworth Falls, Blackheath, Mt Victoria, Hartley, Kanimbla Valley, Hampton, Sodwalls, Rydal, Portland, Wallerawang, Capertee, Cullen Bullen, Lidsdale and Marrangaroo.
The company also has 28 buses in Bathurst and surrounding areas providing services six days a week from its Bathurst depot.
The Jones family has had a long history providing a transport service in the Lithgow and Bathurst areas, starting with a horse and dray service in Lithgow in 1922.
Jones Bros was the first country operator to be awarded a commercial contract, in 1990, under the first legislation change in transport since the State Transport (Co-ordination) Act, 1931.
Jones Bros was also recognised by the transport minister for providing exceptional planning and transport services when Kelso High School was razed.
“In many ways it’s the end of an era for the Jones family, but I’m really proud of what we have achieved over the past
90 years in building a bus company to service the communities of Lithgow and Bathurst over all those years,” Mr Jones said.
“I’d like to thank the staff and all those who were part of the greater Jones family, and I know that Buslines, given their experience and track record, will continue to provide our community with the bus services they need.”
Jones Bros has been managed over the operational period by company founder Lewis Jones, by his two sons Ernest and Keith (who passed away in 1987 and 1988 respectively) and by the third generation in Graham and Peter Jones since 1974.