The Road Explorer - Summer 2017 - 16
Delaney Bus Lines Ltd.
by Jeffrey Reed
hen you learn the history behind Delaney Bus
Lines Ltd. and consider the current success of the
Avonmore, Ontario-based business, it's easy to see
why the company continues to stay ahead of the
curve when it comes to customer service.
Headquartered northwest of Cornwall, Delaney Bus Lines
offers a full complement of school bus services, a variety of
charter services, commuter busing and shuttles to and from local
casinos. On the surface, this seems typical of any hard-working
family business serving its community and surrounding area.
But the story behind Delaney Bus Lines is a story of facing
adversity, and of excelling in both business and life.
In March 2010, Delaney Bus Lines and the Delaney family
suffered a tremendous loss as company architect and president
Michael Delaney died at age 61. The family and business
patriarch had a rare blood disease called Myelodysplastic
Syndrome, which led to him succumbing to Acute
Michael was born into the bus business. His father, Vincent,
purchased some of Eastern Ontario's first Reo school buses in
1948. As a child, Michael also faced a physical challenge in a
degenerative disease of the hip called Legg-Perthes. Yet despite
the adversity he faced, Michael developed a love of life and a
burning desire to achieve greatness.
After graduating from Queen's University in Kingston with
an education in engineering, Michael discovered a love for
the open highway. First, he took a job driving a vehicle from
Montreal to Vancouver for people who had moved to the West
Coast. In Vancouver, he took many jobs before making the trek
back to Ontario, where Vincent had established Delaney Bus
Lines. When his father died in 1972, Michael and his mother,
Ursula, took over operations of an eight-bus fleet. In 1978,
Michael became head of the company.
Founder Vincent Delaney
The Road Explorer
One year later, Delaney Bus Lines purchased its first coach
and started Stormont Tours. By 1990, the company employed
three mechanics and two office staff as it ran with 30 school
buses, four coaches and a mini coach. Concurrently, Michael,
his wife, Janet, who is current owner and president, and their
three children enjoyed their own highway travels.
By 2000, Delaney Bus Lines employed 50 staff. Today, with
130 employees, including a dedicated team of highly-skilled
drivers, the company is a multi-faceted force within the
"We operate about 100 school contracts Monday through
Friday, in addition to 10 highway coaches," explained Delaney
Bus Lines General Manager Mark Begg. "Three of those
highway buses involve commuter runs between the Cornwall
area and the city of Ottawa, while seven of the coaches are
designated for public charter use."
Highway coaches, mini coaches, deluxe school buses, a
special needs bus and an 11-passenger van make up the Delaney
Bus Lines charter fleet. And while a meticulously-trained team
of drivers is behind the wheel, the company is also steered on
the right path by old-school family values.
"Our company has always focused on being a family business,
while at the same time being an active participant in our
community. In fact, people know that we actively support local
initiatives within the entire geographical area we service. And
that's one of our strengths - community involvement, which
keeps us in the forefront of everyone's minds," Begg explained.
In 2010, Delaney Bus Lines received the Cornwall and Area
Chamber of Commerce Above and Beyond Award, which
recognizes an organization, business or individual who goes
beyond what is normally expected of them as they conduct
day-to-day business. The "above and beyond" can take the form
of exceptional service, positively showcasing the community or
helping others to succeed. In the case of Delaney Bus Lines, all
"In fact, we wrapped one of our highway coaches in order to
strongly represent the city of Cornwall," Begg said. "That bus